Commvault and Oracle Partner to Deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) on OCI

Last month Commvault and Oracle announced their Partnership to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) to Oracle Cloud.

First of all though, what is data management as a service (DMaaS)?

Data management as a service is a type of cloud service that provides enterprises with centralised storage for disparate data sources. The label “as a service” references a pay-per-use business model that does not require the customer to purchase or manage infrastructure for data management.

Commvault introduced Metallic in 2019, as it’s DMaaS product – bringing the best of data protection to the best of SaaS. Metallic is part of the Commvault Intelligent Data Platform and as such brings the following benefits.

  • Metallic Backup-as-a-Service, offering protection for SaaS applications including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, and Salesforce; protection for endpoints; and protection for hybrid cloud workloads including Virtual Machines, File Systems, Databases, and containers
  • Metallic eDiscovery, offering granular search and export capabilities for Office 365 and endpoint data to help satisfy regulatory compliance requirements
  • Metallic Recovery Reserve, built on Microsoft Azure and delivering secure and scalable cloud storage for your backups

OCI coupled with Metallic data management as a service (DMaaS) enables enterprise customers to protect and secure their data against threats, adhere to local data residency laws, and ease data management and recovery.

Metallic’s data protection now spans Oracle Cloud VMware virtual machines, Oracle Database, Oracle bare metal servers, Oracle Containers for Kubernetes, and Oracle Linux and becomes available to over 400,000 Oracle enterprise customers looking to leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for protecting their mission critical data.

Metallic also delivers the following features and benefits.

  • Metallic VM & Kubernetes Backup – including for OCI VMs and OKE
  • Metallic Database Backup – including for Oracle and Oracle RAC
  • Metallic File & Object Backup
  • Air-gapped ransomware protection with storage flexibility – including Metallic Recovery Reserve™ on OCI – a simple managed cloud storage service for recovery
  • Backup-as-a-Service
  • Data-Management-as-a-Service solutions for Microsoft Azure and AWS.
  • Metallic is the only DMaaS solution to protect across Azure, AWS and now Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

Conclusions

What I personally find interesting is that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is now playing number three cloud provider with Commvault. I have Personally used OCI and I found it a really good environment to run VMs in. and have said before more people should be looking at OCI as a cloud provider and reaping all the benefits that OCI can bring. All too often its eliminated because it contains the word Oracle.

But actually, there ls a lot to be gained by this partnership, 3000 customers cant be wrong.

For more information on Metallic: https://metallic.io/why-metallic

Please note that whilst this content was not provided by Commvault or Oracle this is a sponsored post.

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Cohesity Connect Global User Conference Starts Next Week

We find ourselves in the middle of IT conference season and coming off the back of VMworld is the Cohesity Connect conference. Now, I’ve been a big fan of Cohesity since I saw them back in 2015 at VMworld and their product offerings just keep getting better and better. This inaugural 3 day conference is starting strong with something for everyone – Keynotes, 30 plus speakers, including Mohit Aron the founder and CEO, the latest product announcements and my personal favourite certifications. Cohesity Academy are offing two free certifications worth $300 so what’s to loose.

Cohesity is pleased to host its inaugural user conference Cohesity Connect, a global, virtual event running between 19-21 October that gives attendees from around the world the opportunity to hear about the latest trends and innovations in next-gen data management.

A key focus of the event this year will be cyber resilience. Attendees can learn about next-gen technologies that can protect their data and businesses from sophisticated ransomware attacks — and save them from having to pay costly ransoms.

The event unites technology innovators and forward-thinking organisations around critical business issues including cyber resilience, hybrid cloud strategies, data protection, unstructured data management, automated disaster recovery, and more.

With more than 30 dynamic sessions and breakout discussions, Cohesity Connect will bring together industry experts, business and IT leaders, and data management professionals to share insights on the most pressing data challenges facing organizations today, from the growing threat of ransomware attacks and disaster recovery to optimizing operations with SaaS and hybrid cloud deployments.

Cohesity leaders will also highlight the latest updates to the Cohesity Helios next-gen data management platform and unveil new products that help keep customers a step ahead of bad actors, harness the power of AI and ML to identify threats that are beyond the scope of manual intervention, further simplify data management, and enable customers to do more with data.

The event will feature a variety of high-caliber speakers, including:

  • Mohit Aron, CEO and founder, Cohesity
  • Kevin Miller, vice president and general manager, S3, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • John Kindervag, creator of the Zero Trust security framework and senior vice president, ON2IT Cybersecurity
  • Nick Warner, chief operating officer, SentinelOne
  • Marianne Bailey, former senior cybersecurity executive, National Security Agency (NSA) and partner at Guidehouse
  • Bill Graff, senior vice president and chief information officer, Cerner Corporation
  • Bill Schlough, senior vice president and chief information officer, San Francisco Giants

Attendees can also obtain free professional certifications in data protection, file and object services, and multicloud solutions during half-day Cohesity Academy sessions.

The event will conclude with an inspiring address from Peggy Whitson, a former NASA chief astronaut, who shattered numerous spaceflight records over the course of her decorated career. 

To learn more about Cohesity Connect and register for the event, please visit cohesity.com/connect.

Please note that this is a sponsored post.

CoreSuite The SaaS Management Platform

Today I want to take some time to introduce CoreSuite from CoreView, an SaaS Management Platform for Microsoft 365.

CoreSuites key benefits to any organisation are to:

  • avoid security risks by delivering True RBAC (Role Based Access Control) and segregation of duties
  • cut operating costs by utilising workflows, discovering shadow IT
  • improved productivity by implementing a single pane of glass

Why would I buy a product to help manage a product that already has a web management console I hear you ask. Well, any administrator who has managed an enterprise class deployment of Microsoft 365 knows that it’s the simple requests that takes ages, one minute you’re in the Admin centre, then the Azure AD portal, then the Security Centre and so on.

CoreSuite offers that single pane of glass to let you manage your tenant through a single console. One CoreView pane replaces a dozen separate native admin centre interfaces.

Most enterprise customers have multiple active directories on site but probably only one Microsoft 365 tenant. CoreView allows you to segment a single M365 tenant into Virtual Tenants that might reflect a department, or a country, or region, or even a single location. By breaking into smaller groups, you can restrict what users can see and act on, making it much easier to manage than having to tackle the entire organization in one bite. In my mind this is similar to the concept of how you carve up Active Directory on Premises.

CoreView Virtual Tenants Overview

How often do you end up testing user permissions with Enterprise admins because that user is trying to do x and has a business need to do it. Microsofts built in roles are good, but they only go so far until you find the exception that doesn’t work. CoreView adds true RBAC (Role Based Access Control) to define specific permissions for administrators who then can only perform certain tasks.

CoreView – Dashboard

Security is improved as since there are no native Microsoft 365 administrator rights needed within the tenant for these regional admins, there is no way for them to log onto the M365 portal and make any changes directly within the tenant or via PowerShell.

These are just some of the benefits of CoreSuite. Others include:

  • Teams: CoreView has a number of tools to improve the adoption of Teams and reports to understand every interaction
  • Multi-SaaS: Discover and manage every SaaS app in your stack
  • Hybrid: Extend CoreSuite’s capabilities to your on-prem environments

Download more information from here

Don’t take my word for it, go request a demo at https://www.coreview.com/request-a-demo/

Please note that whilst this content was not provided by CoreView this is a sponsored post.

IntSights Cybersecurity

Lately I have been trying to educate myself on Cybersecurity, so when I was asked to take a look at IntSights I was quite surprised at how great their product set looks and the capabilities it offers.

IntSights was founded in 2015 by former members of an elite intelligence unit in the Israel Defense Forces. Equipped with a deep understanding of how threat actors think, collaborate, and act, they set out to build a solution that enables companies to use external intelligence to change the way they protect themselves.

For more information take a look at their web site https://intsights.com/

Threat Intelligence Platform

The IntSights Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) automates the entire threat intelligence lifecycle — from data collection, processing, analysis, and enrichment all the way to collaboration and dissemination. By centralizing the collection, management, and integration of dozens of threat intelligence sources in the operational environment, teams can streamline investigation and proactively block threats.

IntSights achieve this by utilising continuous monitoring of an enterprise’s external digital profile across the clear, deep, and dark web to identify emerging threats and orchestrate proactive response.

All this is managed from a cloud console providing single pane of glass management by leveraging bidirectional integrations with enterprise SIEMS, Firewalls and other security platforms found in a typical enterprise.

Example Dashboard

The main features of this are:

  • Streamlined security Operations
  • Integrated external and internal threat protection
  • Deep investigation analysis
  • Fewer duplicate and false positives
  • Accelerated response
  • Automated threat blocking
  • Plug and play into existing security devices.
  • Improve your security posture.

For more information on Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) https://intsights.com/products/threat-intelligence-platform

IntSights Active Directory Integration

The product that caught my eye the most was IntSights Active Directory Integration

IntSights Active Directory Integration automatically validates and locks down compromised credentials.

Leaked credentials are one of the easiest ways for hackers to access corporate systems and steal sensitive data. Companies must vigilantly monitor for leaked employee credentials online, but this task is made incredibly difficult with massive credential databases being published and exchanged Organizations must be able to quickly identify, process and validate if leaked credentials are active and could be used to access corporate systems

IntSights Active Directory Integration can identify new and previous credential leaks using their leaked credentials database and continuous clear, deep, and dark web monitoring.

You can then instantly validate if credentials are active and require response. You can also automate the “Credential Reset Process” by building custom policies to instantly validate and automatically trigger credential reset notifications—locking down compromised credentials efficiently while minimizing losses in employee productivity.

Active Directory Integration Overview: How It Works

For more information on IntSights Active Directory Integration – https://intsights.com/solutions/active-directory-integration

Please note that whilst this content was not provided by IntSights this is a sponsored post.

Runecast Less Troubleshooting, More Innovating

I recently attended an Online vRetreat hosted by Patrick Redknap where we had a presentation from Kev Johnson on the latest updates with Runecast.

I have been a huge fan of Runecast since I saw the product at a VMUG a few years ago demoed by its CEO & Co-founder Stanimir Markov.

It reminded me of the Netware Config reader that was so key to my job 25 years ago, you produced a config file from your server, ran it through the config reader and quite simply it would tell you how to update your server and configure it for best practices. You would always check your server was optimised and up to date before calling Novell for technical support. Remember this was a time before the internet when Bulletin Board System (BBS) was king. Here are some old pictures I found on the Internet.

Quite simply Runecast is all this and more, it will take your vCenter and Hosts and quite simply tell you what to do, to make sure its as healthy and secure as it could possibly be.

It will check your system against:

  • The VMware Knowledge base.
  • VMware Best Practices
  • The VMware HCL
  • Al the Major Security Compliance standards

How does this all work?

Basically, it is an appliance you install on premises, that’s right on premises no data going to the cloud here. For an appliance that does all this it’s quite small; I downloaded just a 1.4GB Ova file. Installation is so simple Next, Next, Next, simply point it at the vCenter and away it goes. I had it installed and running and was fixing issues in less than 20 minutes on my aging homelab.

This appliance then receives regular updates from Runecast, every time there are New KBs, updates to the HCL, patches released from VMware. For those companies that run air gapped environments no problem this has an Offline updater to allow you to update your systems.

Ease of Use.

Runecast has what I believe is one of the simplest dashboards to use, it’s not cluttered and you can immediately see the Key points.

  • Severity
  • Log Issues (once enabled)
  • Security Compliance
  • KBs Applicable to your environment
  • Best Practice Adoption

Simply click on a red item to drill in to the issue, it will tell you the fix and either how to implement it or what to download. Some are simple, maybe Time isn’t set up on one of your hosts, or maybe you need to update VMware tools. Attention to detail is all the way through the product, here there are helpful links to the VMware KB so you can have all the remediation information to hand.

Security Compliance

Security compliance is now a major part of Runecast and they recently added CIS to their list of security compliance standards. Here is a full list of all the standards they currently have in the application and I’m sure more will be coming over time.

Some Customers only buy Runecast for the Compliance and I can see why, when it’s this simple to check and recheck your environment against an ever-changing environment of patches, updates and changes to security standards. I managed to get my system up to 72% in Security Compliance and 76% in Best Practices after about an hours work but as you can see, I’ve still got a long way to go.

Hardware Compatibility and Upgrades

One of the other cool features in Runecast is the ability to compare your server against the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) down to the Bios versions.  Anyone who has spent time trying to identify which hardware is compatible knows that the HCL can be a world of pain. Pointing at my hotchpotch of servers tells me I’ve got some unsupported hardware in the form of my Gigabyte motherboard and the processor in my HP Microserver. Not a problem for my homelab but in a production environment this can be critical.

But you can take this a stage further and test out your hardware for future upgrades, using the handy Simulate upgrade feature.

Simply select the version you are thinking of upgrading to and hit Simulate.

Which immediately tells me that my Proliant is not supported past 6.5 U3 which is why I’ve held it back from upgrading.

Summary

So in summary I believe this tool would bring benefits to any organisation but don’t just take my word for it, simply go to Runecast.com where you can sign up for a free 14 day trial and evaluate it in your own environment. Remember you will be up and running in just 20 minutes.

VMware Champions what’s it all about?

Way back at VMworld 2018 I enrolled in to a program call VMware Champions. At VMworld 2019 (Barcelona) I became the top champion at the event, which resulted in me winning some great prizes along the way as well as Champion of the Month for November.

So what’s it all about and is it for me? Well if you’re a customer of VMware then I would say yes! In return VMware are looking for customers to become Customer references.

VMware say:

Champions is a community created for you, our most valued customers. Join a select group of VMware customers exploring the unlimited possibilities of software to shape the future of digital business and achieve results in innovative ways.

How does it work. Naturally there is a website or app based on the AdvocateHub application.

VMware post a challenge in the form of an article or new product for you to read and digest, then simply answer a few questions, which ultimately leads to points. The more you are able to engage with the VMware Champions team, the more points you can earn. If your answers match what they are looking for then you may be selected to become a reference in say a blog post or case study. They will put you in contact with someone who can take your story and turn it in to a professional article. Only when both of you are happy it will be released. Some champions have been published in the Radius publication that you may have seen online.

What do points make? Well, prizes as the saying goes. You can save up your points and cash them in for anything from baseball caps to a ticket to VMworld (entry only). Just by signing in each day you can collect daily bonus points, and of course you then get to see any new tasks that have been created for you to complete.

My prize from VMworld included an awesome longboard signed by Pat Gelsinger himself.

So if you are a VMware Customer and would like to see your company featured by Champions then you can sign up here

vRetreat and Cohesity

Vretreat

It was a clear, crisp February day a week ago when I attended my first vRetreat. These events are arranged by fellow vExpert Patrick Redknap, with this event being sponsored by Cohesity and held at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club.

So, Cohesity – what’s it all about. The day started with an introduction on Cohesity from Stuart Gilks, Systems Engineering Director. Stuart started with the statement that 80% of organisations have backup issues, which I can well believe. I always say as a system admin that we get burnt by backup and antivirus which ever products you use, a simple fault can suck your entire day. 

The core product at the heart of the Cohesity suite of products is DataProtect. DataProtect is more than just a backup and recovery product though. It can handle all the traditional backup needs so Deduplication, Compression, Replication and Encryption. But more than that it can handle almost any workload both on premise or in the cloud using their Multicloud products. That’s any hypervisor, any application, any storage and now any cloud. 

Cohesity data Protect

Stuart says they are seeing a decline in NAS usage which I suspect matches the way companies now don’t replace NAS or SAN storage but move it to S3 storage from AWS, Azure and Google. 

To read more about Dataprotect visit here  or watch this video. 

We know Cohesity does a great job on backups but it’s the file and objects services where it really starts to make a difference, using products like MapR to perform analytics on the metadata. After all, you take the time to back it up so you already have a rich set of metadata to drill in to. Stuart even demonstrated how the analytics could detect changes of patterns in the data being backed up, so seeing a sharp increase in encrypted files where previously there were none could indicate a ransomware attack and with automation it simply restores the files from before they were infected. The demo was pretty cool and if you want to see more about the ransomware detection check out their blog page on it here and be sure to watch the video as well. 

Cohesity have also just released their latest version 6.2 which now includes a number of new and improved features which you can see below. Currently they are releasing a new version every few months which shows their commitment to development.

Cohesity release highlights2

They have also announced a new OEM partnership with HPE which I think speaks volumes in a world where HP have been acquiring businesses of interest. This partnership will fill a hole in the HPE portfolio and bring HPE Apollo and Proliant servers to the Cohesity product set.

cohesity appliance

If you’re in the market for a new backup product with some excellent additions and features Cohesity may be well worth a look.

All Views expressed on this site are my own personal opinion and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now or will be affiliated.

VMworld 2018 Day 1 – good day, bad night

Well today started like any other Day 1 at VMworld, It was great to wander round the hall and catch up with old friends, it wasn’t long before I had met most of the community people I like to hang out with. The list is endless but, Anna Lawler, Eric Nielsen, Angelo Luciani and Noell Grier to name but a few, apart from the entire UK vExpert and London VMUG community who appear to be 100% here.

I managed to get some Labs completed In the HOL area including the new lightening Labs; these are a great way to start a lab off. The concept is that you can start and finish a lab in 30 minutes, I did the lab SPL-1988-01-EMT Enterprise Blockchain getting started, and this is basically a 30 minutes introduction and walk through of the VMware Blockchain application, and worked really well.

At this point Gareth Edwards turned up with a suitcase of vExpert special order Polo shirts for most of the UK vExpert’s. Just one of the reasons why Gareth has been recognised as a vExpert Pro. One of just two in the UK.

garethpolos.

It was at this point that we decided to head off back to our apartment and prepare for an evening at the VMworld Rubrik sponsored Cocktail party.

However despite all my preparation’s and heightened awareness as I entered the Metro train at LCollblanc to Verdaguer (L5 line) a team of pickpockets skillfully blocked my path on to the train, grabbed my rucksack which stopped my movement and then made it off with my wallet. Luckily for me I had split my cash and plastic over two wallets so I didn’t lose that much. However I was with 3 of my colleagues and all of us were taken in by this distraction technique that ended up with my wallet going. So please be extra vigilant when out and about especially when using public transport.

After getting back to the apartment and blocking the cards that were taken, I did head off to the police station that google suggested. However it was shut when I got there. So decided that at 21:00 to head off to the Rubrik party and drown my sorrows whilst I was there.rubrik

I’m sure tomorrow will be a better day as we start VMworld off with a keynote from Pat Gelsinger and Ray O Farrell on Technology Superpowers.

So remember people let’s be careful out there.

VMworld 2018 T-1

Just a quick post to say #VMworld 2018 starts tomorrow, Barcelona is filling up with VMware shirts from all over the globe, I arrived earlier today and decided to stop by the Fira and register. There is a new type of badge this year, with no pocket for a map or raffle tickets!  So there better be lots of maps around the venue.

img_20181104_170818906_hdr

This year I managed to get a ticket to the famous pre event party the #vRockstar party. This was my first year to attend however I missed out on a legendary tshirt, better luck next year then. A huge thanks to @PatrickRedknap for arranging this event. As you can see it’s a very popular event and it’s the ideal way to start the networking off.

Tomorrow it’s a slow start for me as its traditionally the partner day so I’m going to be spending some time attending Hands on Labs (Hopefully an expert lead one or two) as well as hanging out at the #cloudcred booth with my now good friend @NoellGrier, and the #VMTN and bloggers area, so please come by and say Hi (We Don’t Bite)

vExpert 2018 Award Announcement

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2018-k

Well after an incredibly tense time, mainly due to the time difference between the US and the UK, I woke up last Saturday morning to find I had received the email saying I was awarded vExpert 2018. This is my third year as a vExpert and I’m thrilled and honoured to receive it. It’s even more special when VMware released the following stats and I discovered that there are 144 vExpert’s here in the UK so I’m a member of a very small club indeed!

vExpert Stats

There was a delay on the result this year and for some reason I had the feeling that I wasn’t going to make it. Last year was a hard year for me in my personal life, and when it came to VMworld I was a bit disillusioned. Firstly after the Mandalay Bay shootings I lost my desire to go to Vegas, secondly when I was at VMworld in Barcelona I had my pocked picked just before I came home and it left me feeling vulnerable.

However spring is the time for new starts, and I intend to start by embracing my third vExpert with the honour and respect it deserves. So more blogging, cloudcred, studying and VMUG is in order. My passion for all things VMware is growing again and I’m thinking about which VMworld I would like to attend subject to any sponsorship and my finances. It’s going well so far:

  • I have earnt my 10th VCA Digital Business Transformation, two weeks ago
  • I’m currently studying to get through my foundation exam towards my VCP
  • Next week I will be attending the 2nd London VMUG meeting of the year.

To find out more about the program see the official announcement here.