Commvault held its FutureReady virtual event on July 21, 2020 for industry influencers including analysts and journalists. Through keynote presentations, product demonstrations and breakout tracks, Commvault introduced a number of product and strategy updates that contribute to an ongoing evolution from data protection software vendor into “intelligent data management” solution provider.
Commvault Builds Out Intelligent Data Management
For Commvault, intelligent data management means storing, protecting, optimizing and utilizing data, with a foundation of data awareness (visibility), agility (mobility) and automation. Commvault is applying acquisition and R&D spend to build from its core data protection competencies in a way that addresses these requirements. Significantly, Commvault acquired software-defined storage provider Hedvig in September 2019. During FutureReady 2020, Commvault unveiled new products resulting from the integration of this acquisition. Also announced at the event and discussed in more detail in this document, Commvault has enhanced cloud and container support and re-packaged its core data protection as well as its Activate data visibility and governance software to support this vision.
Commvault Integrates Hedvig
As previously noted, Commvault used FutureReady 2020 to introduce its first offerings leveraging its Hedvig software-defined storage.
One offering is the next generation of Commvault’s HyperScale scale-out integrated appliances. The solution is called HyperScale X and it integrates Commvault data protection and management with Hedvig software-defined storage. HyperScale X is intended to help customers accelerate adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments by facilitating centralized and scalable data protection for a number of sources including containers, databases and virtual systems. Notable capabilities include resiliency, with Hedvig’s file system being able to sustain multiple concurrent hardware failures, as well as faster backups and recoveries at scale due to Hedvig’s scale-out nature. The solution can also help to protect against ransomware, for example by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect anomalous behavior.
In addition to HyperScale X, Commvault also introduced the Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform for Kubernetes, which helps to streamline data protection and migration for applications running in Kubernetes containerized environments.
The solution leverages the Container Storage Interface (CSI) for Kubernetes to integrate container snapshots and then add capabilities including encryption, support for third-party KMIP tools, container mobility for migration and HA/DR, and automated execution of policies to control protection and mobility.
Commvault Repackages Core Products
Looking at its core Complete Backup and Recovery data protection software, Commvault announced repackaging during FutureReady 2020. Commvault will sell two stand-alone offerings, Commvault Backup and Recovery and Commvault Disaster Recovery offerings, as well as an offering that combines the two, called Commvault Complete Data Protection.
Commvault Backup and Recovery can back up and facilitate restores for on- and off-premises locations, and containerized, virtual and physical sources. Commvault Disaster Recovery provides business continuity, including automated orchestration of disaster recovery, disaster recovery testing and replication, for cloud and on-premises sources.
The company also repackaged its complementary Activate data visibility and insight software into three stand-alone solutions:
- Commvault Data Governance, which identifies sensitive data and calculates a “sensitivity score,” so that required remediations can be identified and executed.
- Commvault eDiscovery & Compliance, which provides visibility and control, for example, over areas such as retention holds, in order to help meet compliance requirements.
- Commvault File Storage Optimization, which provides insight and recommendations to reduce risks and costs across the file storage environment.
Evaluator Group Comments
Commvault is evolving to address modern data protection requirements while at the same time expand its addressable market into broader data management and primary storage.
The company appears committed to remaining close to the pulse of its core customer requirements on the data protection side. For example, it is pushing against converged data protection vendors such as Cohesity with its HyperScale appliances, and against software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based data protection vendors such as Clumio with its Metallic venture (although new Metallic services were not announced at FutureReady, Metallic was prominently highlighted during the event and a notable expansion of Metallic in the form of a deep alliance with Microsoft was announced earlier in July 2020). Because Commvault is known for protection storage and information management, connecting the dots to primary storage via Hedvig will be a more substantial challenge.
Evaluator Group expects the Metallic SaaS arm of Commvault to become an increasingly important delivery arm for the company as it addresses customer requirements for simplified procurement and usability. According to Commvault, more than 40% of its software and product revenue already comes from subscription licensing. This will further shift the decisionmakers that Commvault engages with, as new roles such as cloud architects enter the equation with cloud-native workloads and cloud delivery. CEO Sanjay Mirchandani, who stepped into the role in February 2019 from serving as the CEO of Puppet, brings experience that will further help Commvault’s push into supporting cloud-native resources as well as its focus on building out automation and AI/ML as differentiators.