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Head To Head | Big Data 74 Big data: Big opportunity or a Big problem? The exponential growth of big data is forcing organizations to rethink how they protect and manage file systems that have become effectively too big to back up. The IDC is predicting data growth of 44 times the scale within the next decade. IT departments are under pressure to maintain control, flow and security of critical data, so we speak to CommVault’s Emily Wojcik to find out why this is the case. EM360°: Emily, can you tell me about CommVault and the role you are playing in the IT industry today? Emily: CommVault is a software company that is 100% dedicated to meeting the data and information management needs of the enterprise. We have a software product called CommVault Simpana, which provides a better, more cost effective and risk adverse way for companies to protect, manage, retain, access, and most importantly, gain business value from their information. CommVault focuses on areas like archiving and search for storage optimization or e-dis- covery and compliance. This area of our business is in high growth mode because so many companies out there are grappling with the challenges that are unique to this new digital era. The whole idea of big data is causing some major headaches from a storage perspective certainly, but add on new compliance regulations, government mandates and e-discovery and all of this growth is becoming a challenge from a risk standpoint as well. Your data can be a huge liability, but with a modern information management strategy it can also be a huge asset. EM360°: Big data now pretty much poses an opportunity rather than a problem for organizations these days. Can you tell us about this explosion in big data and what organizations are looking to do to deal with this? Emily: Big data is creating a real opportunity to think more strategically about your data. Research tells us that while data growth continues to climb, the budgets and the resources to manage it are staying flat. That’s the bad news; the good news is that these new para- digm shifts are forcing some conversations and collaboration between cross-functional stakeholders to meet these needs in a more holistic, economical and forward-thinking way. It’s not something the IT department can throw more storage at any more. It’s really critical to not only understand what the operational impacts of big data are, but also how big data impacts good information governance policies. This starts by developing a better understanding of how different users across the organization use these applications and business processes to manage data throughout its entire life cycle. This effort requires cooperation among both business and IT stakeholders responsible for both the recovery of information and its discovery. This collective group can then examine all the policies and practices used to protect, retain, manage access, and ultimately dispose of data as part of this process, and so a more holistic view of the enterprise will be exposed and organizations can then strategize accordingly. “We also see the convergence of back-up and archive. It is an emerging concept that’s gaining traction today as organizations seek to reduce the number of copies created for both back-up and archiving…” EM360°: Moving on what would you say then are the important components of a big data solution product and of those, how are these components extenuated in your Simpana software product? Emily: The value for a lot of CommVault customers is the idea of removing depart- mental silos, or different repositories of data, which are hard to manage and search across. In an environment where there are budget shortages, a way to remove these silos is to augment processes and do more with less by leveraging a single platform. We also see the convergence of back- up, archive and reporting. It is an emerging concept that’s gaining traction today as organizations seek to reduce the number of copies created for both back-up and archiving, while aligning access policies for both more closely. The ‘problem’ with tra- ditional archive approaches is that you do not know what to archive. Our customers are leveraging our integrated reporting to determine automated policies for moving and retaining the right data. And what that really does is create this notion of a single data repository that eliminates duplicate copies of information and redundancies of processes, while removing silos. This is a holistic approach that captures data and then reprocesses it both for data protec- tion and preservation, which helps get the right data in the hands of the right people at the right time, so that they can turn it into something that adds value to the business. EM360°: Can you tell us what role big data growth is playing in governance or compliance strategies? Emily: While IT departments are grappling with how to support these really complex environments, legal and compliance teams are also tasked with “defending big data” and making accommodations for it in the