Wider and Deeper on Data in 2021

Ian Moyse, Cloud Industry Thought Leader & Social Influencer

In a time when data and users accessing it have become more dispersed than ever in history, Commvault is increasingly upping its data game and reach through its latest announcements.

Remote work, increased use of mixed solutions across multi-clouds and growth of digital transformation has increased customers risk profiles. Compounding this is the increased security landscape we all find ourselves in, with ransomware attacks targeting valuable data at a new level of sophistication and volume.

  • Ransomware attacks increased over 97 percent in the past two years (Source: Phishme)
  • 34% of malware hit businesses took a week plus to regain data access (Source: Kaspersky)
  • Most expensive component of a cyber-attack is information loss at $5.9 million (Accenture)

Commvault’s game change plan for the data protection as a service (DPAAS) space began with their launch of Metallic in 2019 as a SaaS-delivered backup solution available in the U.S. Over the next year they launched to Canada, ANZ and 10 countries in EMEA (being United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden). Importantly and as, they promised this has now been expanded to support 23 countries (adding EMEA support for Austria, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland).

Metallic, and its customers, have enjoyed continuous innovations since launch and the momentum has been impressive. The solution has already made its mark in delivering to real customer needs and winning industry applaud from accolades such as Best of VMWorld 2020, an IT World Award win and a Gold Stevie Award in its 1st year.

As well as expanding wider in its global footprint (made easy on the back of its close Microsoft Azure technology partnership and also the benefit of being a Commvault venture), it is also going deeper with announcements that double down its offerings from a technology expansion, covering new workloads, new features, and new offerings. 

At a time when it would be very easy to sit on your laurels and focus on defending the impact of COVID as many providers have been doing, Commvault has looked to a playbook and investment in R&D to change the game on the data protection market and to accelerate its alignment to the new hybrid tech world we increasingly inhabit.

With the addition of enhanced MS Teams protection, the new Salesforce backup support and the expanded offering of Oracle and Active Directory to Metallic Database Backup, Commvault is widening its appeal to the Enterprise customer who seeks one pane of glass and platform to manage its breadth of data estates. Salesforce, the largest CRM provider, has a strong penetration into accounts where the need to backup data from a broad range of data sources is essential.

One question that may not have an obvious answer is why backup Salesforce data, after all its inherently in a SaaS platform from a reliable and reputable vendor and this is not about if the server fails; this is a security and compliance matter; can I protect adequately against ransomware, internal data threats and a need for data integrity; can I rollback and restore to a prior data point and unpick any issue with my data integrity.

There is a proven market here, as there are several specialist Salesforce Backup providers already successfully growing in this space. It shall be interesting to see if these clients prefer to focus on the silo offerings for Salesforce data or the attractiveness of this broader single offering now presented, allowing scope for their cross-platform protection needs.

With the expansive and rapid growth of Microsoft Teams adoption during the last 9 months (a reported growth from 44 million users in April 2020 to 115 million in October 2020) the enhancements in this area make total sense. Customer reliance on this platform is now critical in the working environment corporations find themselves in. Metallic’s offering protects MS Teams in a native and easy to understand fashion, allowing for granularity of restore to a file or conversation level and up to a team level. MS Teams makes it very easy to delete conversations, but hard to bring them back, a gap Commvault has now filled. This presents a great upsell opportunity for the Microsoft channel to re-approach clients with, offering true value and a reason to spend during Covid.

The need for the MS Teams data store and restore if not apparent, is made so by the recent IT Blunder reported at KPMG where 145,000 MS Teams chats were deleted, with Microsoft confirming that Teams chat data is not recoverable.

If it were not enough to add Salesforce and the enhancements for Microsoft Teams, alongside growth of local instances in so many new countries, Commvault has gone further with addition of protection for Oracle databases (as Backup as a Service) and Microsoft Active Directory encompassed for compliance and security reasons.

With the Oracle proposition, a fully-fledged on-prem backup to scale is on offer, to meet RTO and RPO needs of large-scale data stores at speed. As with the Salesforce proposition, the Active Directory value comes not from a simple backup, but from the enhanced security and compliance model now on offer, to independently protect the active directory deployment (including support for Azure Active Directory).

For the Microsoft customer Metallic now providers broad singular coverage for your data in Office365, Email, MS Teams, OneDrive, Project, Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL and Active Directory; Microsoft Dynamics apart, this is an end-end comprehensive offering for any Microsoft centric client and with the endorsement level from Microsoft enjoyed by Commvault, a compelling proposition.

For the Enterprise customer you can now consider a one stop protection for your key application data cores including Salesforce. Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. For customers on their hybrid platform journey Commvault now brings a breadth of coverage that encompasses all major workloads, applications, and hypervisors. This enables an end-to-end protection for Cloud, SaaS, on premise, Hybrid and endpoints with automated protection unlimited storage and retention and a compliance level that is essential for businesses in the data reliant and threatened world we inhabit. Plus, the addition of Hyperscale X for Metallic gives customers more flexibilty to keep their on-prem backups local for fastest recovery.

It is important to also remember that the value proposition comes not just from an innovative tech stack, but is also backed by Commvault’s 20 year pedigree in the data backup and protection space, enabling them to advise and engage customers on the appropriate principals and processes to attain the desired secure and compliant state.

With Metallic, Commvault is setting itself as the Gold standard for Enterprise BaaS (Backup as a Service) with a belief that no workload should be left behind; be it at the Edge, in the cloud, on premise or in the Data Center. That these should all be served in a fast to configure, protect anywhere, single pane data model backed by Commvault and Microsoft as trusted brands.

With so much delivered over the past year, especially impressive given that year was 2020, it shall be interesting to see where Commvault takes us next in the data landscape.

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