Tuesday, 10 September 2019 23:01

Cohesity speeds data provisioning for dev/test

By
Cohesity product marketing director Raj Dutt Cohesity product marketing director Raj Dutt

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test is the latest step in the company's campaign to make backup data more useful.

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test makes data available for development and test use quickly and with minimal resource consumption.

One of the barriers to rapid application development is the time it takes to make available copies of production data, Cohesity product marketing director Raj Dutt told iTWire.

The "lift and shift" process typically takes two to four weeks, he said, plus another week to cleanse any sensitive data. This is "anything but agile," he said.

And refreshing the copy with the latest data – an important task when developing applications that use machine learning – is a three to five day job.

So Cohesity Agile Dev and Test provides development and test teams with self-service access to backup data -– subject to role-based access controls – in a matter of minutes. This aspect of the product is being beta tested in the current release of the Cohesity Pegasus software, Dutt told iTWire.

The product creates a reference to the original data, which can then be read without requiring the creation of a copy. This represents a big saving in storage resources and time, and has no impact on production systems.

Cohesity's immutable file system means the backup data is never altered, so any data written during development and test processes is stored separately on the platform.

Cohesity Agile Test and Dev

Furthermore, Cohesity Agile Dev and Test can optionally mask personally identifiable information. For example, credit card numbers can be automatically replaced with data that looks like a card number, or fields can be redacted completely.

"Data masking/data obfuscation is one of the tools used to meet compliance requirements and by design will not allow masked data to be reversible," said Dutt.

"Additionally, Cohesity's data masking will maintain referential integrity. Referential integrity will allow to always establish a relationship between the foreign and primary key without compromising compliance," he added.

Some other approaches to masking, such as that used by Oracle, require an additional copy of the data, said Dutt. But that is not the case with Cohesity's method, he said.

"The Cohesity Agile Dev and Test solution furthers the company's mission to make backup data more productive," said Cohesity senior vice president of engineering and product management Vineet Abraham.

"Cohesity Agile Dev and Test is a logical extension and significant enhancement to our data management platform, not only accelerating application time to market for those adopting 'shift-left' principles, but also improving application security and driving greater compliance throughout the organisation."

Using a single platform for data protection and test data management reduces the number of copies stored, lowering storage costs, and improving security and compliance.

On the latter point, the recently released Cohesity CyberScan can be used in conjunction with Cohesity Agile Dev and Test to help ensure instances of data accessed by developers are secure.

Access to the data is controlled through Cohesity DataPlatform.

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test will be made generally available at a price to be announced to Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect customers before the end of 2019, although the data masking capability is not expected to be available before 2020.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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