Brain-Dump … er … Update on Data-Aware Storage from DataGravity


Brain-Dump … er … Update on Data-Aware Storage from DataGravity

Things have been extremely busy at InterWorks lately and I haven’t hit my blog series on the DataGravity Discovery Series array in awhile. Our storage system is fully in production and is purring along quite well, and I intend to allocate more time moving forward to sharing the wonderful experiences we’ve been having. 

Ramping Up Awareness

We’ve continued to ramp up awareness and public support of the solution, and this week in particular has been seemingly centered around DataGravity. I started out Monday of this week helping out at the Angelbeat conference in Kansas City. We were there to help promote the concept of data-aware storage. Naturally, the only solution is provided by DataGravity.

Very few people knew anything about DataGravity, and upon describing the offering, everyone understood the immediate value proposition. I’ll be doing the same thing in Chicago next Wednesday (5/27) and will follow up the next week with typical lunch and learn events in Dallas (6/2) and Little Rock (6/4), so be sure to check out our events pages on where you can catch us.

Data Governance event

Above: A data governance lunch and learn in Dallas highlighting DataGravity.

This week was also new hire onboarding week where we brought on two new engineers. On Wednesday morning, we went over partnership training and it was refreshing to see the excitement as I worked through the DataGravity solution in particular. It doesn’t seem to matter who sees the solution as it drives value across the board. IT admins, security and compliance personnel, management, end users needing to find or restore files, my family – simply everyone stands to gain value from the solution.

Big Meetings

Finally, I sit now on a flight back from Nashua, NH to Oklahoma City. We were invited to the DataGravity corporate offices for meetings with key people within the organization. It’s awesome to witness firsthand the passion and raw talent of the company. We met with executives to go over product roadmaps, release cycles, support and engineering processes, and sales and marketing plans. We have solid bi-directional communication on industry trends and product direction, and it’s great to know how much DataGravity really cares. There’s no surprise that there’s a great company behind this innovative offering.

The Solution in Action 

There was also one thing today that really stands out. We had a minor support issue to look at and got to witness the magic firsthand. We started with a simple support request, received attention from the head of support and quickly pulled in engineering resources to dissect what was going on. Within no more than 15 minutes, we had a complete understanding of exactly what was going on.

Thinking About Value-Adds

This week has also made me think of some key value-adds that were much harder before DataGravity:

  • Quickly rolling back a virtual machine to check for some files. Within a minute, we are able to mount a temp clone of the VM within an existing datastore, off of the intelligence pool – all without taking any additional storage, impacting primary I/O or touching our standard backup setup.
  • Helping a few users who had lost a file. I use the solution for them or introduce them to the deep search features – life is better!
  • Accidental file deletions. Users are now able to recover files on their own – again, without ever messing with the backup software.
  • Uncovering where data has come from and if it really needs to be there. I can also easily find who wrote it, when and who has been interacting with the data. We’ve been able to remove much of this mysterious data with confidence.
  • Locating sensitive data. Truly, we haven’t had any amazing revelations as we are a security-conscious bunch already, but knowing about the ever-increasing regulations on PCI and PII data, we can rest assurced that this GRC solution has our back.

I have no issues with utilizing our existing great backup solution, but I’m seeing much less of a realiance on it. I am even more comfortable with long-term retention of backup data being present on the primary storage array. We still maintain a short term retention copy offsite, as all good backup plans should. Primary storage, backup and GRC – all for the price of storage – is pretty nice.

A Quick Timeline Recap

A quick recap of the timeline here: DataGravity was announced in August and won Best New Product and Overall Best of Show at VMworld. We came on shortly thereafter as a partner, received our own internal array in mid-October, immediately started validating and stress testing, moved our environment over and have been reaping the benefits.

Best of Show

One of my primary goals is to continue to promote the notion of data-aware storage. At InterWorks, I always try to bring forward sensible solutions to customers, and I haven’t been this moved by anything in a long time. It’s time that everyone give some thought to purchasing the same-old status quo of speeds and capacity, or take advantage of the innovations offered by our friends at DataGravity.

DataGravity delivers and with a suite of innovative analytics to boot. The future direction is exciting and all customers get the benefit of experiencing new innovation within the Discovery Series. Keep watching for more to come, this is only the beginning.

More About the Author

Daniel Holm

Chief Architect, IT Services
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