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HP Discover 2012: Driving better backups with StoreOnce Catalyst

by Philip Sellers

You no longer have to think of your disk-to-disk (D2D) backup device as a virtual tape library (VTL) or a file share repository.  HP has introduced a software API, StoreOnce Catalyst, to the StoreOnce backup line and this new API will see the D2D and deduplication product for what it really is.  No longer will you have to wait for tape seeks and loads/unloads for VTL’s that finish in milliseconds instead of minutes.

That will have a big impact on backup routines and will decrease the amount of time needed for backups and increase the throughput of backups to the StoreOnce to benefit from the full capabilities of the hardware.  Along with these new capabilities, the StoreOnce Catalyst API also allows for a tremendous amount of backup data to be pushed across to the StoreOnce devices – up to 100TB per hour in backup.  The speed is achieved with the newest generation StoreOnce device, the B6200, and HP’s Data Protector 7 backup software working together.

“That is equal to being able to backup the Library of Congress three times overnight,” said HP’s David Scott, vice president of the storage division, during his keynote last week.

StoreOnce Catalyst will work alongside existing fiber channel VTL backups or NAS backups to the StoreOnce device and will provide a new alternative for backup moving forward.  The downside for fiber channel shops is that the backups will need to swap over to 10Gb Ethernet to make use of the StoreOnce Catalyst API’s.  I suspect that many shops large enough to need  multi-terabyte per hour backups would be a fiber channel shop, but 10Gb Ethernet should also be available in most of those datacenters, too.

Third parties will also be able to integrate the StoreOnce Catalyst API’s into their backup software.  At the announcement last week, HP has signed Symantec on to integrate StoreOnce Catalyst into their NetBackup software and the BackupExec line of software will support Catalyst in August.

At the same time, HP also announced Data Protector 7, the latest revision of their backup and recovery software product which is the first product on the market to fully integrate the StoreOnce Catalyst capabilities into their software product.  Data Protector 7 will include a number of additional new features, such as Granular Restore Extension (GRE) for Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, supporting brick level restores from the same database level backups that were previously available.  The new Data Protector 7 brings the StoreOnce deduplication algorithm to the backup software, providing for source and cell manager deduplication of data before it even streams to the D2D backup device.

Building on HP’s focus to cloud computing, Data Protector 7 adds cloud as a new backup destination, meaning companies can capitalize on cloud storage to allow offsite backups for the enterprise.  These clouds are able to scale up to 50 Petabytes of storage and be managed from within the Data Protector 7 consoles.

Most interestingly for the Data Protector 7 announcements, HP has integrated Autonomy’s IDOL technology into Data Protector – allowing for contextual search of your backup sets.  Aimed at helping customers provide discovery data for legal situation or even find a file based from an unknown location, the technology is also seeking to capitalize on the technology HP acquired from Autonomy last year.  Integrating this into a different product line in under a year is also a sign of strengthening cooperation between teams and divisions at HP.

Disclosure: HP sponsored my trip to HP Discover, covering all travel expenses, however HP does not control the content of the posts that I write based on my attendance to the show.  The thoughts, impressions and information contained in this post are my own. 

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