Catalogic Software adds ECX copy data support to IBM storage

Soon after adding VMware VADP support, Catalogic Software's ECX copy data management software will support IBM FlashSystem and Storwize arrays.

Catalogic Software Inc. today upgraded its ECX Instant Copy Data Management Platform to index copy data across multiple IBM storage systems.

ECX version 2.2 is scheduled for general availability in September. It enables in-place copy data management across IBM FlashSystem V9000 all-flash arrays, IBM Storwize midrange arrays (including IBM VersaStack reference architecture with Cisco), IBM SAN Volume Controller virtualization software, and IBM FlashCopy Manager data-protection software.

IBM array support follows Catalogic's integration in June of VMware vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP). Catalogic Software, based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., was formed in 2013 as a spinout of Syncsort. Early iterations of ECX supported only NetApp storage. The forthcoming release allows companies to catalogue data copies across IBM, NetApp and VMware-based storage.

ECX 2.2 targets most widely used IBM storage platforms

ECX Instant Copy Data Management software sifts multiple versions of a data object and generates an automated index of backup data copies across storage tiers. ECX creates one secondary copy to act as the root of a directory tree, and generates additional data copies as needed from writable or read-only snapshots.

Copies with multiple use cases are identified and cataloged, including the number of mountable recovery points and which ones were most recently accessed. The vendor lists analytics, automated disaster recovery (DR), and development and operations among the projected use cases.

Catalogic Software CEO Ed Walsh said support for Storwize and V9000 storage enables Catalogic to provide copy data management to about 85% of IBM's installed base of open storage systems. ECX does not support IBM XIV Storage System or DS8000 series arrays for mainframe workloads.

The unique thing about Catalogic Software is [it lets] you do copy data management on your infrastructure, without having to put in an appliance.
Jim MillerSenior Analyst, Enterprise Management Associates, Inc.

Catalogic's "provider architecture" uses JavaScript Object Notation that enables partners and customers to add storage management APIs for other storage platforms, Walsh said.

"Once we build the provider for one storage platform, the next platform is easy. We simply use the public API for that device and a new rules engine for each array," Walsh said. "Once we plug that provider in the architecture, the rest of the functionality of the platform works identically across any storage array."

Walsh said he expects Catalogic to roll out support for Microsoft Hyper-V in 2016. Integration of EMC storage, Amazon Web Services and IBM SoftLayer are also on the product roadmap.

Self-service storage provisioning boosts SLA compliance

ECX 2.2 includes workflow templates that let users provision their own storage and manage it to service-level agreements (SLAs).

"The storage team puts the templates together and then exposes them to the applications team to self-provision storage," Walsh said. "It reduces contention for resources and pushes things like self-service DR to business units. The templates let you manage all workflows to SLAs to determine compliance."

Jim Miller, a senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. in Boulder, Colo., said support for vendors beyond NetApp is crucial for Catalogic Software.

"A chink in the armor for Catalogic had been that it only supported NetApp, so adding IBM storage is big," he said. "And I think they're just getting started. If they add EMC to go along with NetApp and IBM, they'll be covering a good chunk of the market."

Miller said Catalogic enables companies to manage copies of data while using their primary storage array.

"The unique thing about Catalogic Software is [it lets] you do copy data management on your infrastructure, without having to put in an appliance," he said. "They do a good job of leveraging your storage, especially from a copy data management standpoint and an automated DR standpoint."

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