Chris Mellor

Here's a little ilustration about why Bocada and other data protection management software might be useful in a compliance situation. It comes from Drake Pruitt of Bocada.

In a feature I wondered what will happen to Bocada as more organizations adopt disk-based backup and virtual tape libraries. Drake e-mailed this thought: "when data is written via virtual tape to disk and then from disk to tape, which of the storage players in the food chain can account for where the data is and report back to the business? Symantec thinks it's on a tape. Falconstor may have it on disk or indeed have put it on a tape, but not the one that Symantec thinks it's on, and so on and so forth.'

The implication is here that a compliance regulator, may want you to verify that data is where you say it is. So Symantec/Veritas says it's on tape X. Falconstor says it's on disk Y or, possibly, on tape Z. The virtualisation of tape into virtual tape on disk and the possible second level of indirection onto actual physical tape cartridges could mean that a supposedly-compliant data storage regime isn't in fact compliant at all.

It's not that you would have deleted data or, in fact lost it. Because if you asked Symantec to restore from tape X the Falconstor VTL, when requested by Symantec to access the tape, would/should do the necessary virtual-to-physical translation and locate the requested folder or file.

But strictly speaking and in terms of the data storage process needing to be verifiably compliant Symantec reports would, in effect, lie, about the data's location. This isn't the fault of Symantec at all. The Symantec software is being spoofed by Falconstor.

Drake Pruitt reckons that the adoption of disk is creating a great opportunity for Bocada in the future because Bocada can tell regulators where the data is precisely whereas backup products may not be able to do that.