Cobalt Iron Inc., a leading provider of SaaS-based enterprise data protection, today announced that the company has been granted a U.S. patent entitled "Data Protection Automatic Optimization System and Method." Issued on Jan. 12, 2021, U.S. Patent #10891200 describes new capabilities for the Cobalt Iron Compass® enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) backup platform that enable automatic and dynamic adjustment to data collection activities in response to a detected event or condition.
The patent addresses a large and unmet requirement for comprehensive data collection and effective monitoring in the enterprise backup world. Enterprise backup has many moving parts, including backup servers, backup server OSs, a backup catalog or database, backup software, backup agents, storage, networking, and possible cloud resources. Ideally, each of these components is continuously monitored for health, capacity, performance, and ransomware issues, but that is rarely the case.
Under certain conditions or events, deeper data collection and monitoring is necessary to help identify, remediate, and track any issues. However, adequate data collection of these various metrics and conditions is seldom performed. Even when some data is collected, it almost always is static in nature — meaning the same level of data collection is performed at the same frequency, regardless of the situation or operational status.
"We have developed this technology to create a more dynamic means of collecting data about backup infrastructure and operations. In particular, when certain conditions or events occur, more information is needed from components or operations in order to properly analyze, prepare for, and respond to those situations," said James Kost, senior systems engineer for Cobalt Iron. "For example, if there are operational or infrastructure issues with backup, it might be very desirable to increase the fidelity and frequency of automatic data collection for all involved components. Another example might be indications of a ransomware attack. If the business is under a particular security condition, increasing data collection fidelity and frequency can allow closer and more accurate insights into any activities that impact the backup environment and operations."
The new dynamic data collection fidelity technology is targeted to IT administrators, backup administrators, systems administrators, CIOs, and other IT professionals who are responsible for maintaining backup and IT infrastructure and operations. The techniques disclosed in the patent dynamically adjust data collection activities in response to events such as failure of hardware components, network utilization issues, failed backups, transient errors, and security events, as well as business-driven dynamics such as audits and legal holds. After identifying components and operations that might be associated with a certain condition or event in the backup environment, the techniques dynamically adjust data collection fidelity and frequency accordingly. The new patent also protects the unique, pluggable Compass architecture, disclosing novel Compass techniques that automatically adjust backup, storage, cloud, and network plugged-in components as dictated by conditions or events.
"This patent is a significant milestone in the ongoing development of Compass and extends Cobalt Iron's technology leadership in advanced, analytics-based optimizations of enterprise backup and IT operations," Kost added. "By initiating deeper and more dynamic levels of data collection for all infrastructure components and operations, the technology enables administrators and other IT professionals to gain deeper insights into their operations and respond faster to business, technical, political, meteorological, or other circumstances. The net result is minimized risk to IT infrastructure and operations, faster problem resolution, and the ability to capture critical information about an event that otherwise would likely be lost."