Data protection with Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery

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Data protection with Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery is a unified platform for data protection and management of both on-premises and cloud workloads. Key capabilities include data backup, snapshots, replication, archive, cloud migration and protection, granular recovery, content index and search, disaster recovery, and reporting. These features are integrated into a data platform with a single code base, and thus delivering efficiency in overall cost and management.

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite is a licensed part of the overall Commvault platform, enabling comprehensive data protection and letting you move, manage, and use your data wherever it resides. You can fully protect and manage data across supported files systems, enterprise apps, databases, and VMs running on Compute Engine; use Cloud Storage as a backup target for workloads running both on-premises and in other cloud platforms; and protect Cloud Storage objects.

The following architectural diagram illustrates the primary workloads and use cases for pairing Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery with Google Cloud.

Architectural diagram of Commvault, a unified platform for data protection and management

The architecture of Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery comprises core components that you can scale up or scale out to meet your needs for efficiency and performance. You can start with a single Compute Engine VM, running all components and distribute them independently as your environment grows.

The core components are the CommServe (CS), MediaAgents (MA), and Intelligent Data Agents (iDA), as illustrated in the following diagram. You can install these components on servers or VMs in an on-premises environment, or as Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs). With the appropriate network connectivity and security permissions, you can manage a hybrid architecture under a single deployment called a Commvault CommCell.

Core components of the Commvault platform architecture

  • CommServe (CS) provides control and monitoring of a Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery deployment. The CS delivers the “single pane of glass” from which you can manage all operations, including Service Level Agreement (SLA) policy definition, role-based access control, delegated admin, and scheduling. Admins and users can interact with the CS in multiple ways—using an HTML5 web interface, advanced GUI client, command line, or REST API.
  • MediaAgents (MAs) are responsible for moving data in and out of Google Cloud. MediaAgents are software components that interface with storage platforms, such as tape, disk, and Cloud Storage. Commvault MediaAgents also perform target deduplication to efficiently use storage targets, which further amplifies the cost benefits of using various classes of Cloud Storage for backup and archival.
  • Intelligent Data Agents (iDAs) interact with hypervisors, operating systems, and apps to provide granular protection, recovery, and source side deduplication. Agents are available for many versions of enterprise apps (such as Oracle Database, Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, SAP, DB2, Informix, MySQL, and PostgreSQL), big data apps (such as Greenplum, Hadoop, and MongoDB), and even software as a service (SaaS) platforms (such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Workspace). Another widely deployed type of special agent is the Virtual Server Agent (VSA), which directly integrates with both on-premises hypervisors (such as VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV) and public cloud platforms to provide agentless protection of virtual machines, thereby eliminating the need for an iDA in each VM.

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery offers flexible licensing. Commvault meters your licensing based on one or more of the following: CPU sockets, VM counts (VMs), Operating Instances (OIs), or Front-End TB Capacity (FETs). Your metering choice depends on your environment. For example, on-premises physical environments are best suited for OIs or FETs, whereas virtualized and public cloud environments are more suitable for VM counts. Vm counts lets you reuse a license originally for on-premises hypervisor VMs for Compute Engine VMs. When VMs are licensed, no separate Commvault license is required for the various enterprise app iDAs, the VSA for hypervisors, or the back-end storage capacity consumed, regardless of the amount and length of data retention. You can also scale architectural components, such as deduplication MediaAgents, to any count without requiring additional licensing. Refer to How to buy to determine the best licensing option for your environment. Try Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery on Google Cloud by taking advantage of a 30-day Trial.

Cloud Storage as a backup and archive target

Cloud Storage reduces or eliminates the acquisition, maintenance, and reliability costs associated with on-premises disk libraries, virtual tape libraries (VTLs), deduplication appliances, or tapes. Cloud Storage provides a durable and scalable target for backups, with the added benefit of requiring you to pay for only what you’re using.

Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery helps you move your on-premises data securely by encryption, and store your data efficiently by deduplication. You don’t need to install or configure complicated cloud gateway devices. You can configure the Commvault MA to write natively to Cloud Storage. It supports all storage classes—Standard, Nearline, and Coldline.

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery can also write your data from on-premises to Cloud Storage without having any components present in a Google Cloud region. Similarly, if you deploy Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery in Google Cloud, not only can you back up your data from other cloud platforms to Google Cloud, but you can also back up across Google Cloud regions. This architecture, illustrated in the following diagram, provides flexibility for your public or hybrid cloud strategy.

Commvault enables a flexible hybrid architecture by using Cloud Storage

Typical usage for the different tiers of Cloud Storage in conjunction with Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery include:

  • Standard: Use this tier when your backup data retention needs are typically 30 days or less, or if you expect to perform frequent restores or data read operations from your backup data.
  • Nearline: Use this tier when you have longer data-retention requirements (30 days or more) and aren’t anticipating many data recoveries from this copy of backup data. For example, you need to store your weekly, monthly, or quarterly full backups for beyond 30 days for business process or compliance reasons, and want to minimize your Cloud Storage data costs.
  • Coldline: Use this tier when you need long-term backup data storage with retention longer than 90 days, and have few, if any, data recoveries or data-read operations against the backup data set, such as archives of financial or patient healthcare records. An example use case is replacement of long-term tape storage with Cloud Storage, because it minimizes the cost of tape library maintenance, tape media purchases, offsite tape storage vendor fees, and tape media refreshes.

When Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery is installed to use Cloud Storage as a cloud storage library, you create a new storage target. For a brief demonstration, watch the Commvault 2 clicks to the cloud with Google Cloud Platform video. You can create a data lifecycle policy by adding multiple storage classes to a single protection plan. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery automatically copies data to the various storage classes. For example, in the following screenshot, the backup plan is configured to back up Compute Engine VM short-term data simultaneously to the following buckets:

  • A Standard Cloud Storage bucket for 30 days
  • A Nearline Cloud Storage bucket for 90 days
  • A Coldline bucket for 720 days

Data in its deduplicated form is automatically copied to the various storage classes and appropriately expired without performing massive recalls from Coldline storage, therefore minimizing costs.

A backup plan using multiple Cloud Storage classes in a single policy

Protection of Compute Engine virtual machines

Compute Engine zones provide physical resiliency against hardware failures. The Commvault VSA protects your Compute Engine virtual machine data from productivity loss caused by accidental or malicious data deletion or corruption, such as from user error, malware, or faulty software patches and upgrades. If widespread data loss or corruption of a Compute Engine VM occurs, you can use Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery to restore the entire Compute Engine virtual machine from a backup copy. All the data that is protected by Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery is indexed, letting you find and recover data faster than a solution based purely on persistent disk snapshots.

The following diagram demonstrates how to protect Compute Engine data with Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery.

Architectural diagram that demonstrates how to protect Compute Engine with Commvault

By integrating Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery with Compute Engine, the workloads you run on Compute Engine have access to the same enterprise-class protection that you would deploy for traditional on-premises hypervisors. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery treats Compute Engine as a hypervisor and leverages Google Cloud APIs to optimize data protection in Compute Engine. To add Compute Engine to Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery, as illustrated in the following screenshot, create a new Backup Plan with Google Cloud selected as a hypervisor type.

Adding Compute Engine as a hypervisor in Commvault

By using a Commvault Virtual Server Agent (VSA) installed as a Compute Engine VM—either coupled with a Commvault MA or as standalone VM—you protect your Compute Engine VMs without requiring agents to be installed and configured in each individual Compute Engine VM. This helps to ensure that VM admin credentials aren’t shared, thereby improving security.

The VSA automatically detects VMs running on Compute Engine based on user-defined rules, protects the VMs by using a combination of persistent disk snapshots, and then stores the deduplicated file and app data of the persistent disk volumes on Cloud Storage.

Any newly deployed Compute Engine VMs are protected without having to configure anything, because the auto-detection capabilities of the Commvault VSA ensure that any new Compute VMs are also automatically protected. The Virtualization Dashboard in the web-based Commvault Command Center displays the details of your Compute Engine VM protection, as shown in the following image. The dashboard outlines the number of total protected and unprotected VMs, the associated protection plan, the storage pools in use, and other pertinent summary information.

Managing Compute Engine VMs using Commvault Command Center

App-consistent protection and granular recovery of information as a service in Compute Engine

The Commvault VSA protects workloads on Compute Engine VMs. It provides a rapid, crash-consistent snapshot copy from which most VMs are recoverable. However, when a VM is running a highly transactional or critical workload, such as databases and apps, you might need to achieve a quiesced state of app consistency to provide granular app recovery. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery has iDAs for over 30 different apps and file systems that you can run using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), enabled by Compute Engine VMs.

When protecting file systems, enterprise apps, and databases, use Commvault iDAs installed inside Compute Engine VMs. Commvault iDA helps to ensure that critical business data is captured and stored in an app-consistent format. More importantly, Commvault iDAs can provide granular recovery, such as transactional log-based recovery. For example, as illustrated in the following diagram, rather than restoring an entire crash-consistent VM and recovering the entire database to repair a small data corruption, you can easily search and replace the database tables that were affected—all from Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery.

App-aware and source-side deduplicated backups

The Commvault iDA also supports source-side deduplication with the option to enable direct writes to Cloud Storage, bypassing the MediaAgent. This feature, called Storage Accelerator, is useful for remote office backups direct to Cloud Storage, as well as the backup of large data sets that can consume considerable time and network resources. Deduplication metadata is still sent to the MediaAgent so that loss of the source still ensures recoverability.

Protection of software as a service workloads

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery protects SaaS workloads such as Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Amazon RDS, Gmail, and Google Drive. For a complete list of supported SaaS platforms, see supported Cloud apps.

If you use Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery to protect your supported SaaS cloud apps, you can architect it in Google Cloud by using both Compute Engine and Cloud Storage, as illustrated in the following diagram.

Using Google Cloud as a resiliency target for Cloud Apps

You can use Cloud Storage not only to store a copy of data from other cloud platforms for increased resiliency, but also to serve as a source for recovery of individual objects back to the SaaS platform. This is useful if your SaaS sources experience an outage, corruption, or disaster event.

Conclusion

Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery is a holistic solution for protecting and managing files, VMs, and app data, regardless of where it resides—on-premises, or in IaaS or SaaS clouds. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery integrated with Google Cloud provides you with the flexibility to deploy workloads or data sets in on-premises environments, in Google Cloud, or in a combination of both, while providing a unified data protection platform. By using a single platform for data protection and management across your entire environment, you can standardize your data protection methodology and gain significant efficiencies when you leverage one comprehensive tool instead of juggling multiple point products.

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