The Magic of Cloud Storage

The door

EMC didn’t acquire Maginatics, the Silicon Valley startup where I wore a marketing hat for two and a half years, because we had “Magic” in our name. It was the pixie dust in our technology that caught Hopkinton’s attention. With cloud storage top-of-mind for many enterprises, EMC wanted to enhance its market-leading hybrid cloud offering with a “bridge to the cloud” that would connect the EMC Data Protection solutions customers already knew and loved – solutions such as NetWorker and Avamar – with a rich variety of private and public object stores. That’s precisely the kind of challenge our developers had set out to tackle back in mid-2010. So it was only natural that our paths would eventually cross.

Working together for a handful of months following the acquisition, erstwhile Maginatics engineers and their new EMC compatriots built that bridge to the cloud.

One reason we were all able to move so quickly – shipping v1.0 of the software before the last Magineer had found the proverbial water cooler in his or her new “second home” at EMC (we also kept our original digs) – had much to do with the technology itself. From day one, our mission was to build a flexible platform that would adapt to the needs, workloads and workflows of the user – not the other way around. So integrating Maginatics technology with EMC Data Protection solutions turned out to be, relatively speaking, a piece of cake. That was good for us but even better, we think, for our customers, whose investment in those EMC data protection solutions now opens the door to the economics and agility of cloud – with zero disruption and no learning curve.

An immediate benefit is the ability to swap out costly, risky tape for cloud storage when choosing a long-term retention (LTR) target for infrequently-accessed data. Rather than having to store copies of monthly and yearly NetWorker or Avamar backups on tape, for example, enterprises can now meet their compliance and regulatory requirements, eliminate CapEx, and increase operational flexibility by leveraging their cloud of choice. Best of all, any workloads and data types supported by the backup software — file systems, applications, databases, NAS data, snapshots –  are all supported when the customer “switches on” cloud-based LTR.

It’s not just about incorporating cloud, however; it’s about how you do it. Besides seamlessness (or “transparency”) from the user’s perspective, efficiency and security are also paramount. Maginatics’ customers chose our solution because it delivered along all three of these critical dimensions. For example, one of the five largest US law firms, along with one of the globe’s largest advertising holding companies, selected Maginatics because of our unique “split-plane architecture” that cleanly separates data from metadata, providing a high degree of cloud agility. These leading companies also chose Maginatics (a mere startup in a sea of behemoths) because our fine-grained, end-to-end, in-flight and at-rest encryption – in combination with our split-plane design – ensures data security that’s as good as, if not better than, the level found in most enterprise data centers. These attributes and many others (ease-of-use, for example, as illustrated in this demo), which stood us in such good stead when we were on our own, now add to the already-formidable strengths of EMC’s Data Protection offering.

Where can you learn more about technology like this? After the developers put the finishing touches on our bridge to the cloud, we marketing types chimed in and christened it CloudBoost. To learn more, just click.

About the Author: Scott Ellman