VMworld 2015 Vendor: Catalogic Software
I’ll admit it was through their VMworld vExpert offer that I first heard of Catalogic Software. The fact that they landed Trevor Pott (@cakeis_not_alie) to host a roundtable during VMworld also caught my attention.
Catalogic invited vExperts to attend a pre-VMworld webinar to give them an overview of their company and product. Here’s what we learned.
Who Are They?
According to The Storage Alchemist blog, Catalogic Software came into being at the beginning of 2014 after being spun out of established NJ tech company Syncsort. Catalogic brought with them a talented roster, which they continue to grow, and were joined by tech leadership veteran Ed Walsh who assumed the CEO position.
Catalogic Software is trying to solve your copy data management (CDM) concerns. Essentially how to manage the life cycle of data copies. This includes reducing unneeded data copies while making sure you still fulfill related use cases like DR, test/dev and data access analytics. All done with DevOps and self-service in mind.
What Can They Do For You?
Catalogic ECX is their software-based CDM platform which they propose will tackle your content data management problems. It integrates with your VMware vSphere environment and/or your NetApp or IBM storage environments. ECX can leverage those platforms’ virtual/storage snapshots to let you orchestrate, manage and analyse data copies and data copy access.
At the heart of this is the Catalogic ECX CDM catalog (the “C” in ECX), where storage metadata is kept and which Catalogic refers to as “actionable”. This catalog gives you full visibility into your data copies, both presently and historically. It also allows you do some very useful things like create templates to schedule and control snapshots or report on storage-based SLAs. A compelling use case is the ability to clone existing VMs into an isolated (“fenced”) environment so that you can met your test/dev needs or test DR. You can even use ECX as part of your deployment process by promoting an environment into production.
ECX can be used as an orchestration platform and includes its own REST API so that it can be incorporated into other solutions. Being able to trigger a template from your ticket system or promote an environment to prod from your main deployment control system helps shave time off of your tasks and promotes a DevOps style approach.
During the Q&A portion of the webinar it was mentioned that customers are using the ECX to satisfy their backup needs as well. Bear in mind that ECX isn’t positioned as a backup solution, in fact Catalogic offers DPX which provides data protection, however that wasn’t covered during the webinar so any further learning is left up to you, dear reader. That being said ECX may still satisfy your backup needs if you’re comfortable relying on data copies.
What Do You Think?
My take on is that with ECX Catalogic is looking to become your storage management plane solution of choice. Their software could give the unified interface and management platform, or “storage glue” if you like, that allows customers to take full advantage of their existing storage solutions.
While I didn’t see any concepts or approaches that surprised, Catalogic has an opportunity to gain a significant foothold in the storage management plane space if ECX can do what it says on the tin, the interface remains clean and intuitive, and the tools execute fairly flawlessly. Their success can only improve as they (presumably) increase the list of supported hardware storage platforms.
If this sounds interesting to you, hit up their website and watch the ECX overview video to learn about the solution directly from Catalogic or stop by booth #517 at the VMworld US Solutions Exchange.