Commvault, a storage company some used to view as a sleepy giant, is on the move, making several significant announcements at this year's user conference.
Most visible—and most important, by some estimates—is the announcement at this week’s Commvault GO conference in Denver of the Metallic backup and recovery-as-a-service program that provides more flexibility and options than many of its competitors. It is available in three versions: Metallic Core for backing up file servers, SQL servers and virtual machines; Metallic Office 365 for backing up Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint; and Metallic Endpoint for backing up notebooks and PCs running Linux, Windows and MacOS.
In a nutshell, Commvault has optimized its backup and recovery code as a native scale-out application for Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). That's a big win on its own, said storage expert George Crump of Storage Switzerland.
"For more than a decade, people would install backup software and backup servers, but getting it up and running, keeping it upgraded and making sure it has everything you need is difficult and time-consuming," he said.
Metallic goes a few steps further than competing cloud-based backup services. While the backup server and software component now runs in the cloud, everything else can run on-premises if customers prefer. For example, users can choose to go "all cloud," or they can cache on-premises or keep all data on-premises and just use the instance running in the cloud as a management console.
It's a better cost proposition, Crump said, than paying to keep years' worth of data backups in the cloud. The flexibility of the Metallic approach allows organizations to back up and store different data sets in ways that make sense for them. They might even choose to use backup-as-a-service with tape as the final resting point.
Commvault's approach to cloud-based backup and recovery also does not require users to store their backup data in the same cloud where their backup software resides. That's a real differentiator, Crump said.
Other Commvault GO Highlights
Other news at the conference included enhancements to Commvault Activate, an add-on that provides analytics, workflows and prebuilt solution accelerators for data backed up by Commvault technology. The announcement highlights that Activate now provides analytics information on active data as well as backup data. Other enhancements include improved data governance and compliance challenges, as well as better control over critical or sensitive data.
Finally, Commvault announced new capabilities for Hedvig software-defined storage solutions. These include support for Container Storage Interface (CSI), which allows organizations to use Commvault to manage Kubernetes and other container orchestrators; built-in data center availability; support for erasure coding; support for multi-tenant data centers; and multi-data center cluster management, alerting and reporting.
While Commvault is having some growing pains in stitching Hedvig into its product portfolio, Crump believes that within a few years, it will have achieved a very tight integration between Hedvig and Commvault.