Cobalt Iron Frequently Asked Questions

System Management

What ongoing support is recommended for customers (i.e. monthly reviews, reports, etc.)?

Cobalt Iron Compass® provides daily and weekly reports. This is customizable to what the customer wants. We recommend weekly reviews of overall service status and health.

Note to partners: This is an opportunity to provide additional professional services to your customers.

What ongoing governance is recommended?

We recommend quarterly service reviews with customers to validate data protection coverage, solution ticket review, and footprint growth observations. At the same time we look at growth and expansion options to validate current plan and contract or revise up.

Note to partners: This is an opportunity to provide additional professional services to your customers.

Is there any integration capability with the Commander and ticket systems? Can you integrate with a customer provisioning/ticketing system like ServiceNow?

Yes, all activities and services are driven with RESTful APIs. This enables data sourcing, feeds, and automation for customer
landscapes. Additionally, Compass provides and supports integration into customer systems for workflows. ServiceNow is a current
integration that we support at customer sites today.

Are regular health checks part of Compass data protection?

Yes, with high frequency.

Services and Sizing

How do we size the Accelerator? Based on data footprint for backup or storage capacity?

All Accelerators are sized based on workload characteristics: stored data, system counts, and operational performance requirements. Our Cobalt Iron Deal Desk works with you to collect the appropriate data to properly size the solution during the design phase.

For what footprint threshold can backup/restore be per-formed over the WAN versus having an Accelerator on-site?

Backup and restore performance are completely bandwidth, data volume, and RTO sensitive. The specific data volumes and required bandwidth will be determined by customer requirements and SLAs. Part of our solution design document is a chart that outlines what are the bandwidth requirements necessary to meet the backup and replication windows of the customer.

Is there a high availability (redundancy) option with Compass?

Yes, Cobalt Iron delivers this as a custom solution today to ensure the HA requirements are well defined and met.

Can we perform many-to-one replication? How about bi-directional replication with two locations?

Many-to-one: Yes
Bi-directional: Yes

How do we handle long term retention? Is tape integration possible?

We have an LTR offering that can leverage cloud storage, Cleversafe, tape integration, and flexible Spectrum Protect licensing options.

What are the encryption options (in-flight / at rest)?

Compass offers diverse encryption options including:

  • Source system Spectrum Protect client encryption
  • In-flight encryption with generated SSL keys or customer-issued SSL keys
  • At-rest encryption on-premises and in-cloud
  • AES 128 encryption

Can we have different retention policies with a two-site replication?

Yes, Compass delivers this today. It is a ticket request to ensure customer recovery matches expectations.

What is the level (ratio) of compression and deduplication? Is it client-side deduplication or deduplication on the Accelerator?

Compression and deduplication are data sensitive. Currently Compass has combined rates ranging from 1:1 to 20+:1 (Compass’
ratios are based on “incremental forever” backup protocol and not on “full forever” that some vendors use to inflate their numbers). Compression and deduplication are available at both the client-side and Accelerator-side.

How are customers with a Compass SaaS license subscription charged when they exceed their estimated protected data?

The Compass service monitors all capacity utilization for each customers and we alert partners when customers are nearing their capacity limits so they can have a sales conversation.

Is there an additional cost for implementation?

Depending on the size and complexity of the deployment, Cobalt Iron may add “initiation services to cover inherent project management cost. Partners may wish to add professional services for things such as installation if the customer does not wish to do simple rack and stack functions.

Can Cobalt Iron help me determine an estimated time for full restore?

Yes. Contact the Solutions Design Team at the Cobalt Iron Deal Desk.

Is the listed capacity of the Accelerators raw or deduplicated?

The stated capacity of the Accelerator is not raw. It is usable, compressed, deduplicated stored footprint capacity.

Can Compass provide protection for System i?

Compass can provide protection for System i customers who are also using BRMS. BRMS is a component of the IBM i operating system. Most regularly, we see System i customers are already licensed for it. BMRS is required for Cobalt Iron to provide Compass on System i.

Backup and Restore

Can Compass integrate to a NAS for direct backup?

Yes. Compass supports both NDMP backups as well as recom-mended proxy backups for flexible restore, data availability, and access.

Do you need client agents installed for DBs and Exchange?

For application integration, yes. For monolithic recovery, VM and physical snapshots can be leveraged.

Can granular restore be performed for DB and Exchange mailbox?

Yes, all Spectrum Protect features for supported databases and Exchange are available to customers.

Is the OS also backed up? Can we do a BMR backup / restore on dissimilar hardware?

Yes, by default the OS is backed-up. BMR basics are included via process steps. Cristie BMR can be added to simplify process and steps.

Is there an instant restore feature (e.g. mounting of drives) similar to TSM and Actifio?


For VMware, does Compass leverage VMware VADP and CBT for agentless backup solution? Are there any require-ments or additional infrastructure components for agent-less backups? Where will the VM snapshot reside?

Yes, Compass leverages Spectrum Protect for VE which uses VADP APIs and CBT for agentless backups. Additional requirements are the data mover VMs. VM snapshots reside on the VMFS datastores during the backup phase and then on the Accelerator for future instant recovery and restore activities.

How is the restore performed? Is there integration with Virtual Center Server?

Recoveries can be performed from both command line and GUI using the vCenter integration or web GUI.

Is there any SLA or SLO (e.g. successful backup percent)? Response time?

The solution for a customer is designed to meet the SLA, RPO, RTO, and performance requirements.

What is the standard backup window?

Eight hours, unless otherwise requested.

What is the standard replication window?

Eight hours, unless otherwise requested.

During a DR test can replication and restore happen simultaneously?