When I got invited to Commvault GO I didn’t know what to expect, but my expectations weren’t very high. I was quite sure that I would have found an old, boring, and rigid company struggling to compete with new innovative startups and other very agile players with easier to use, simpler and more flexible products. But I was wrong, or at least, the pivot in their strategy is very clear and they look much more competitive now than in the recent past.
User Friendly Licensing
I have to say that I started working with Commvault when the company was much younger than today. At that time, I was running a VAR business in Italy and we were promoting Commvault as the new kid on the block for data protection. And the thing I was struggling the most with was their licensing. An incredible number of SKUs and complex quoting processes that made me hate the product more than once, regardless of its technical qualities.
They eventually caught on, but acutally I’m quite surprised it took so long to change! With the new product line up organization, Commvault Complete (the full backup & recovery suite), can be bought on a capacity basis or number of instances with a very few add-ons when necessary. On top of that, you can get the license for the other products including their HyperScale scale-out platform.
Commvault’s products are also available through subscription. What I really liked is that you will still be able to restore data after the subscription has expired, avoiding lock-ins even if you decide you no longer need it.
HyperScale and Cloud
The HyperScale appliance can be bought as a software-only or complete appliance, and now there is a complete line of appliances for a large number of use cases from ROBOs up to large multi-petabyte installations which need capacity and performance. Also, in this case you could think about acquiring the whole solution as a subscription… a sales model that is becoming quite common among hardware vendors.
At this event, Commvault also presented its new as-a-Service offering, now based on the Amazon AWS marketplace, and intended to backup compute instances that are hosted on that cloud provider. The solution is quite immature in my opinion, but the potential is there and it could become a much more interesting product in future iterations.
I haven’t had a chance to take a closer look at Commvault Activate yet. But the short story is that this new software, even if you don’t use any other Commvault product, can crawl into your unstructured data repositories to index and classify the content. At the end of the day you can get a lot of analytical insights to understand more and better about what you really do with your storage and files. All this info can be used to make strategic decisions and save money. Something that is becoming more and more important for any type of organization.
Closing the circle
There is much more than what I’m reporting in this article here at Commvault GO. But, to be honest, in this article my intent was not to report the news from the event, but to give you an idea of the mood… and actually, I was interested in talking about what I understood about the company and its strategy.
Commvault is understanding, reacting and changing quickly to address the dramatic market shift that we are all experiencing. Will they succeed and regain 100% of their original competitiveness? It’s early to tell, but they are trying hard. It is clear they are listening to their customers, partners and the market in general, and the first steps look promising.
I didn’t pay too much attention to some of their other announcements. I’m not sure about AI-enabled features or voice-controlled user interface for example, but Commvault is really focusing on usability of its products, simplifying its adoption and trying to make overall user experience better. To some extent, they are somehow mimicking the new market entrants, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing… especially because the backend architecture is mature, powerful and robust. Building a better experience around it is the right path to follow.
Introducing Tech Field Day Exclusive at Commvault GO 2018 from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Commvault GO by GestaltIT and they paid for travel and accommodation, I have not been compensated for my time and am not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or edited by any other person than the Juku team.