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For decades, the backup market has focused almost exclusively on protecting data by creating redundant copies.
Although this remains the primary function of data backup systems, vendors are increasingly incorporating new tools into their wares. Recently, for example, some backup vendors have been adding data management features to their products.
Although the concept of data management is still somewhat ambiguous, it generally refers to the various processes that occur over the data's lifetime. This might include tasks such as creating, storing, validating, analyzing and protecting the data.
While the integration of management features into data backup systems might at first seem like an odd combination, doing so can be beneficial. After all, a company's backups may be the one place where all its data is brought together. As such, backups can be thought of as something of a "big data repository" that can be analyzed for the purpose of deriving business value.
Three options for your data management
Druva is one vendor that has integrated data management functionality into its data protection initiatives. The vendor has created Druva Cloud Platform, which delivers data protection and data management as a service. The platform brings together cloud data sources -- IaaS, PaaS and SaaS -- and local data sources. It also provides three key services for that data: data protection (backup and disaster recovery), data governance (compliance, e-discovery and data archiving) and data intelligence (search and analysis).
Commvault has created its own data management platform, which is based around the use of a virtual data repository. Commvault Data Platform works by aggregating data from many different sources and providing a unified view of that data. This approach not only enables organization-wide data searches and data analytics, it also simplifies tasks such as archiving and data governance. Since these capabilities are integrated with Commvault's data protection capabilities, it becomes possible to search not only the organization's current data, but also previous versions.
Veritas is tying data backup systems to data management features. The vendor has created a platform it calls 360 Data Management for Hybrid and Multi-Cloud. The company also offers a 360 Data Management Suite. Veritas 360 Data Management ties several different capabilities to a central intelligent core. Veritas Intelligent Core provides capabilities such as data discovery and classification, as well as policy automation.
Not surprisingly, two of the key capabilities exposed through Veritas 360 Data Management are data protection and business continuity. After all, Veritas has been a major player in the data backup systems market for many years. Other capabilities of 360 Data Management include digital compliance, data and workload portability, storage optimization and data visibility.
Data management seems like a natural supplement to data backup systems. Although each vendor has its own approach to data management, the backup vendors discussed here seem to do a good job of using management to provide visibility into the existing data and of making it easier to enforce compliance.