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Komprise launches replication for FlashArray File Services

Komprise Asynchronous Replication enables file-based replication for more granular restores in backup and DR use cases. It is first available on Pure FlashArray File Services.

Komprise this week launched Asynchronous Replication for Pure Storage FlashArray File Services, which doesn't do replication natively.

Komprise Asynchronous Replication is integrated with Pure Storage's Purity 6.1 operating system, allowing it to see all of the system's managed directories and file hierarchies. FlashArray File Services users can use Komprise to replicate specific file shares or directories, and schedule these replication jobs as needed.

Pure built file storage capability into its FlashArray block storage platform in June 2020 with the launch of FlashArray File Services. FlashArray has native replication for block storage but not for file. Komprise Asynchronous Replication fills that gap and allows for more granular, file-level replication and restoration than what FlashArray natively provides.

Not many customers are putting production workloads in their FlashArray File environments, said Krishna Subramanian, COO at Komprise. That might not be surprising, given Pure's product has been generally available for barely half a year, but she said its lack of native replication has prevented customers from putting anything critical into those environments.

"Replication is a key component for any production workload," Subramanian said.

Pure recognized this gap and tasked Komprise with filling it, according to Subramanian. Pure and Komprise already have a technology partnership, as Komprise's data analytics and migration capabilities are available on Pure's FlashBlade products. Komprise has taken that same engine and created a replication-focused product specially optimized for FlashArray File.

Customers procure Komprise Asynchronous Replication through Pure Storage, but it is Komprise-branded and licensed separately from Pure FlashArray.

Replication is a key component for any production workload.
Krishna SubramanianCOO, Komprise

Komprise's core product is an intelligent data management platform that supports a wide array of NAS, public clouds and private cloud environments. Customers can use Komprise to analyze data and move it to the most cost-efficient storage, while still allowing users access to it.

Komprise Asynchronous Replication is an entirely new product in Komprise's portfolio, focused on the replication use case. It uses the same engine in Komprise's data management software, but it has a different interface and new functions such as setting which files to replicate, scheduling replication jobs, setting which environment to fail over to and seeing where the golden copy of a file is.

Subramanian said it was technically possible to perform replication using Komprise, as it's simply executing a migration job without doing a cut-off. However, Komprise's interface didn't support a replication workflow, she said.

Screenshot of Komprise
Komprise can now use its core migration and analytics engine to replicate from FlashArray to FlashArray.

"The use case is different, so it needs a new product," Subramanian said.

Komprise Asynchronous Replication is currently available for only Pure Storage FlashArray File, but Komprise is looking into expanding the product to other environments.

Granular, file-level restores are the biggest benefit for customers with Komprise Asynchronous Replication, said Julia Palmer, a research vice president at Gartner. Restoring the whole FlashArray system is problematic, as it loses all changes across the entire system from when the backup copy was generated. That's simply not worth it just to restore a couple of lost files, Palmer said. Therefore, the more granular the copies, the less data that gets lost in a recovery.

Palmer said replication was a critical feature missing from FlashArray File Services, so she wasn't surprised Pure tapped Komprise to address it. It makes sense that customers would be hesitant to put their critical workloads in FlashArray File environments without a means of duplicating them and bringing them back without a full-scale restore, she said.

"People are paranoid about duplicating everything, and they're also particular about disaster recovery," Palmer said.

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