About CommVault Architecture | Detailed Overview of CommCell Management Group

CommCell Management Group Overview


A CommCell management group is the logical grouping of all Simpana software components that protect, move, store, and manage the movement of data and information. A CommCell group contains one CommServe server, one or more MediaAgents, and one or more Clients.
CommCell Management Group


The CommServe server is the central management component of the CommCell group. It coordinates and executes all CommCell group operations, maintaining Microsoft SQL Server databases that contain all configuration, security, and operational history for the CommCell group. There can be only one CommServe server in a CommCell group. The CommServe software can be installed in physical, virtual, and clustered environments. 


The MediaAgent is the data transmission manager in the CommCell group. It provides high-performance data movement and manages the data storage libraries. The CommServe server coordinates MediaAgent tasks. For scalability, there can be more than one MediaAgent in a CommCell. The MediaAgent software can be installed in physical, virtual, and clustered environments. 

A client is a logical grouping of the Simpana software agents that facilitate the protection, management, and movement of data associated with the client. 

An agent is a Simpana software module that is installed on a client computer to protect a specific type of data. Different agent software is available to manage different data types on a client, such as Windows file system data, Oracle databases, etc. Agent software can be installed in physical, virtual, and clustered environments, and may be installed either on the computer or on a proxy server.
CommCell Console 

The CommCell Console is the central management user interface for managing the CommCell group - monitoring and controlling active jobs, and viewing events related to all activities. The CommCell Console allows centralized and decentralized organizations to manage all data movement activities through a single, common interface.

Commcell Logical Architecture

A CommCell management group consists of one CommServe server and any number of MediaAgents and Clients. There is also a logical architecture to a CommCell, which can be defined in two main areas
Production data being used by servers and computers in the enterprise, and 
Protected data which has been backed up, archive, or replicated to storage media.
A computer for which Simpana agents are protecting data.

A Simpana software component that is installed to protect a specific type of data on a client, e.g., Windows File System, Oracle databases, etc.

A logical container that identifies and manages specific production data (drives, folders, databases, mailboxes) to be protected.

Backup Set
One or more logical groupings of subclients, which are the containers of all of data managed by the agent. For some agents, this might be called an archive set or replication set. For a database agent, the equivalent of a backup set is generally a database instance.

Storage Policy
A logical data management entity with rules that define the lifecycle management of the protected data in a subclient's content.

Logical Management of Production Data

Production data is managed using agents, which interface natively with the file system or application and can be configured based on the specific functionality of data being protected. Data within these agents is grouped into backup sets. Within the backup set, one or more subclients can be used to map to specific data.
Logical Management of Production Data

Logical Management of Protected Data

Simpana’s concept of data management utilizes a data protection strategy based on logical policies. The flexibility gained from policy-driven data protection and management is the ability to group data based on protection and retention needs, rather than by the physical location of the data, which greatly simplifies the organization and management of protected data.
In a CommCell group, subclients define the actual data that will be protected. Subclients can contain an entire server, drive, folders, database, user mailboxes, virtual machines, or even document repositories. The data defined in these subclients is protected through backup, archive, or snapshot operations into Simpana protected storage. Once in protected storage, the data from these subclients can be independently managed regardless of what production server they came from.
A storage policy manages subclient data based on business requirements, even when the subclients' content resides on different servers in the CommCell. It defines a specific set of rules to manage the associated data; which data will be protected (which subclients); where it will reside (the data path and library); how long it will be kept (retention settings); and other media management options such as deduplication, compression, and encryption of the data in protected storage. The first storage policy defines the primary copy of the backed up data, which can be stored on local libraries for quick access. Additional copies of the backed data can be automatically created from existing copies already in the protected storage environment to other libraries and locations for consolidation, auditing, business continuity.
  • A project may have different types of data that reside on numerous servers and storage devices. Agents for each type of data are installed, and subclients are defined to access the data in all of its locations. All of these subclients can be associated with a single storage policy to manage the business related data as a single entity.
  • Financial and legal data from different servers or location can be combined into a storage policy for compliance reasons. Databases can be managed in a storage policy and sent to a disaster recovery location. User files can be kept in an on-site copy for quick file recovery.

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