Cobalt Iron Inc., a leading provider of SaaS-based enterprise data protection, today announced that it has received a patent on its techniques for optimization of backup infrastructure and operations for health remediation. Granted on April 19, U.S. patent 11308209 describes new capabilities for Cobalt Iron Compass®, an enterprise SaaS backup platform. Compass will automatically restore the health of backup operations when they are affected by various failures and conditions. As a result, backup operations become more resilient to storage device failures and threats.
Countless factors can impact backup infrastructure and operations in a large environment, such as cyberattacks against backup data or devices, security alert conditions, severe weather, fires, floods, device failures or pending failures, and high device utilization levels.
Some individual storage and backup products can monitor themselves and even take simple remediation actions based on internal failure conditions. But existing technologies are almost completely lacking in awareness of interdependencies between various components of a backup environment. Determining and monitoring such interdependencies are typically manual tasks that are seldom done except in the case of failures or cyberthreats, at which point it is often too late.
Further, analysis of the possible impacts of failures or threats between interrelated components, operations, and environmental conditions is almost nonexistent in the industry. Also lacking is the ability to automatically optimize backup infrastructure and operations to remediate device failures, security threats, or environmental events.
With this patent, Cobalt Iron is addressing these shortcomings. The techniques disclosed in this patent:
Determine the interdependencies between various hardware and software components of a backup environment.
Monitor for conditions in local or remote sites that could affect local backups. These conditions include:
Indications of a cyberattack
Security alert conditions
Environmental conditions including severe weather, fires, or floods
Automatically reprioritize backup operations to avoid or remediate impacts from the conditions (e.g., discontinue current backup operations or redirect backups to another site not impacted by the condition).
Dynamically reconfigure the backup architecture to direct backup data to a different target storage repository in a different remote site, or in a cloud target storage repository, that is unaffected by the condition.
Automatically extend retention periods for backup data and backup media based on the conditions.
Dynamically restrict or remove access to or disconnect from the target storage repository after backup operations complete.
For example, because of these techniques, storage and backup administrators can rely on Compass to detect that a storage device at a particular location being used for a backup is experiencing device failures or cyberthreats or is subject to environmental conditions. Then Compass can automatically analyze the impacts of the condition and take actions to remediate the situation.
Remediation action could include reconfiguring backups to use other storage devices at other locations (including the cloud), extending retention periods of backup data or backup media, restricting access to the storage device, or performing some other backup operation.
Cobalt Iron’s technology qualifies for this patent because of a unique combination of capabilities:
Discovery of interdependencies between various components of a backup environment.
The monitoring of failures and threat conditions.
The impact analysis to interrelated components.
The automated health remediation actions.
In particular, the automated optimization of backup infrastructure and operations to remediate component health and threat conditions is new.
"Backup deployments are typically unresponsive to device failures, security threats, and environmental conditions. That’s what we aimed to rectify with this patent," said James Kost, senior systems engineer at Cobalt Iron. "Of special note is that these patented techniques optimize the backup environment so it can automatically ‘remedy’ operations when their health is threatened. This patent extends Cobalt Iron’s technology leadership in analysis and automated optimization of backup infrastructure and operations."