Speaking with Freddie Soon, Country Manager, Malaysia - CommVault
Commvault software is an enterprise data protection and information management suite built on a scalable, single platform and unifying code base. The product uses a common set of advanced capabilities related to the storage and access of data and is administered through one console application.
DataStorageAsean: Archive is an old technology. Why is it becoming hot once more?
Freddie Soon: Businesses today are realising more so than ever that data and information is a central, strategic asset and consideration in their operations, and thus, key to success in a competitive environment. With data increasingly seen as a business commodity – spending on big data technology and services is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 23.1 percent until 2019. The need to store data efficiently has actually become more and more important given the ever-increasing amount and variety of data being created daily due to the cloud, Internet of Things, consumerisation of IT, etc. Given how organisations are structured internally, data can be collected through multiple channels in different formats, including video, audio, social media and images, and stored in different departments and locations – resulting in the emergence of data silos. Indeed, with the exponential growth of enterprise data, storage capacity requirements has inadvertently evolved. Traditional legacy approaches to storing data have not only driven higher storage costs but also created additional compliance and financial risks. A proper data management plan – capturing and storing all data in appropriate storage tiers based on information such as, how long the data needs to be stored for, who should have access to it –enables companies to easily search and retrieve electronically stored data effectively, ultimately gaining instant and accurate results that is vital for decision-making.
DataStorageAsean: Is archive just about file data or is it much more than that?
Freddie Soon: If businesses only archive file data, they are not utilising archiving, or even data management to its fullest potential. There is no doubt that file data is one of the most important types of information to archive, but there is a host of industry-specific data including medical images, seismic imaging data, and company e-mails. As businesses collect and store more data, it is apparent that vital legacy data needs to be properly retained for future use. For years, businesses have elected for a more passive stance towards data retention – putting in place minimal resources to preserve information to address an immediate need – rather than a long-term strategy.
Developing and adopting the right data retention policy is a requirement for internal data governance and legal compliance. However, not all data should be treated the same way –some data is required many years later, and others need not be stored at all. Technology today has enabled intelligent archiving, where information is retained based on its strategic value to the business. Furthermore, archiving, backup and reporting have become a single process, eliminating operational complexity and reducing cost.
DataStorageAsean: How about archive medium? Does tape still have a place or is it all about cloud?
Freddie Soon: Archiving information on tape has its benefits – having a physical copy that does not require an Internet connection to retrieve information. The downside is that tape is found lacking in a fundamental requirement of data protection – rapid restore. When organisations have to deal with large amounts of data to store and backup for archiving and disaster recovery purposes, the limitations of tape are hard to ignore.
As mentioned earlier, an ideal strategy revolves around flexibility and adaptability, which balances solutions for today’s archiving climate, while addressing future requirements at the same time. An exemplary solution provides a bridge from legacy to modern media, and simplifies native moves to and from new archiving technologies to enable disaster recovery, whilst ensuring data security through advanced authentication and encryption protocols. It has never been more important to ensure that your information is reliable, accessible and secure. A hybrid cloud solution offers on premise computational and storage capabilities, and at the same time, combines the benefits of the cloud – delivering remote access, flexible virtual server design and high computational power.
DataStorageAsean: How about Archive-as-a-Service? Is that a viable model?
Freddie Soon: With the rise of personal and IoT devices in the workplace, XaaS models have an increased value for businesses across all industries. The ability to remotely extract data sets from business-owned archives is also becoming a requirement rather than a want, due to an increasingly mobile workforce. Being able to easily archive, store and retrieve data across the cloud brings greater computational power, productivity, simplicity and cost savings to businesses looking to gain a competitive edge. Managing large volumes of legacy data inside a data centre is also becoming increasingly complex. Many businesses are finding it tricky to adhere to policy and technological requirements required to manage data in today’s business climate. As a result, businesses should seriously consider turning towards new data management models featuring smarter compliance and data management tools in order to derive business value from their data. Another viable option would be an open-access model, allowing businesses to integrate their archiving solution into existing infrastructure. This allows flexibility – whether it is moving to the cloud, or hyper-converged infrastructures – to ensure sustainability. This, in turn, allows IT departments to innovate and develop the platform according to business needs.
DataStorageAsean: Does the ASEAN region have any uniqueness which lends itself to needing archive technology?
Freddie Soon: The data management and archiving requirements of organisations in the ASEAN region are similar to businesses worldwide – predominantly, they are focused on a need to manage vital legacy data for future use. At the same time, the ASEAN region has diverse compliance regulations. Singapore and Malaysia have fairly robust data protection laws, however, countries such as Indonesia and Thailand do not. To add to that, some countries require express consent, while others only require implied consent when collecting data. Regardless, one thing is commonly shared across the region – businesses are increasingly collecting more and more data. Therefore, there is a recognition among ASEAN business leaders that data and information is key to gaining insights, driving innovation and enhancing service delivery. As such, it is imperative that organisations use intelligent information management technology tools that provide greater governance throughout the data lifecycle, enabling more active archiving and the creation of natively accessible secondary copies for low-value data, hence transforming inaccessible digital landfills into directly accessible, active data sets.
DataStorageAsean: What is unique about your own offering?
Freddie Soon: Based on conversations with CIOs and technology leaders, there is great demand today for solutions that can cohesively provide quick recovery windows; open, standards-based infrastructure; built-in extensible analytics; seamless and universal access; and end-to-end governance. This feedback from business leaders has helped shape the development of Commvault’s next-generation platform, directly addressing these organisational needs by helping companies manage their data and information through a single platform approach. In today’s fast evolving, 24/7 business environment, not having access to the appropriate data at the right time hinders the ability to anticipate and respond to new market trends. Commvault’s latest platform provides a solution to that, equipping businesses with a complete view into data and information across applications, devices, operating systems and locations, through a holistic data management approach. This enables organisations to access, manage and protect core data assets for recovery, reporting, eDiscovery, compliance and analytics – all in one platform. Companies, as a result, gain greater visibility into where its data is stored, slashing storage costs while improving business agility and performance. In a recent customer survey by IDC, where 722 enterprises worldwide shared their feedback on Commvault’s benefits, companies see a 42 percent reduction in annual IT overhead hours as a result of simplification, automation, consolidation and more efficient operation of the data management processes. The importance of a data management platform that allows businesses to protect, manage, control and access all their information easily cannot be understated. With Commvault, businesses will be able to drive greater value from their data.