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Commvault Brings Hedvig Tech To Kubernetes Management, Reimagines Data Protection

Commvault broke out its data protection and disaster recovery technologies into two separate offerings to simplify how businesses protect their data, but is allowing them to be combined into a single Commvault Complete Data Protection platform at bundled pricing.

Commvault Tuesday used its Commvault Future Ready virtual conference to introduce new technologies based on its Hedvig acquisition, including comprehensive Kubernetes support and a new Hedvig-based management offering.

The company also significantly expanded its data management and data protection software platform with new capabilities and a new emphasis on the disaster recovery side of the business.

Commvault is all about intelligent data management, said Ranga Rajagopalan, vice president of products for the Trinton Falls, N.J.-based vendor.

[Related: CEO Sanjay Mirchandani On Commvault Metallic And Microsoft Azure, COVID-19]

“All the announcements are focused on how to help customers store, protect, optimize, and use data,” Rajagopalan told CRN.

Commvault in September of 2019 acquired Hedvig, a developer of software-defined storage technology. The company has since been silent about its Hedvig plans.

It‘s no surprise that Commvault is now highlighting its Hedvig technology, said Glenn Dekhayser, field chief technology officer at Red8, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based solution provider and Commvault channel partner.

The deployment of the Hedvig technology looks to be super simple, Dekhayser told CRN.

“Commvault got that right,” he said. ”Customers really don‘t particularly care what hardware is under the Commvault technology. Commvault has been using Gluster. So it’s a good approach for Commvault to bring Hedvig to market so it can control 100 percent of the technology. That’s a great value to both Commvault and to its customers.”

Commvault Tuesday unveiled major changes to the Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform aimed at making it the company‘s default primary storage technology via its new HyperScale X appliance, which takes advantage of Commvault’s Hedvig technology to deliver a simple, flexible data management solution for all workloads including containers, virtual machines, databases, and more.

Don Foster, Commvault‘s vice president of storage solutions, told CRN that HyperScale X will have several use cases starting with its deployment as a storage appliance optimized for Commvault-focused workloads, particularly for Kubernetes containers.

DevOps teams, rather than building a massive container, usually build lots of smaller containers. That, and the widespread adoption of CSI, or container storage interface, that is leading to stateful containers, requires a new way to manage Kubernetes, Foster said

“Containers can run anywhere,” he said. ”So the HyperScale X has new policy capabilities and integrations specific to Kubernetes to let Kubernetes containers move from on-prem to on-prem or to or between multiple clouds while offering disaster recovery and high availability. This ensures that data gets replicated so DevOps can start a new branch of the data or sync to an older branch.”

HyperScale X will see further development in the future, perhaps for such applications as deploying high availability multi-site distributed data for fast disaster recovery, or as backup appliances for other vendors who may want to write data to a central location such as a HyperScale X appliance, Foster said.

Dekhayser said it will be interesting to see how Commvault alliance partners such as NetApp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise which have their own primary storage platforms and currently partner with Commvault on data protection.

“Commvault is coming into the primary storage market,” he said. ”Will other partners see this as a risk? HPE can benefit from running the Hyper-X software on HPE servers, but in this case HPE is just getting the compute revenue. And NetApp will want to use their own infrastructure with Commvault‘s software.”

Possible competition is always a concern, Foster said.

“However, we‘re working with [Commvault Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances] Mercer Rowe to ensure everyone stays in their own swim lanes,” he said. ”There are use cases where NetApp and HPE bring better solutions. No one company can solve every customers’ needs.”

Commvault is never going to be a heavy-iron physical storage vendor, Rajagopalan said. Instead, it will be more of a platform that stretches data between on-premises and cloud infrastructure where software-defined storage is key.

Instead, Rajagopalan said, Commvault continues to partners with such companies. The company and NetApp last month introduced NetApp Scale-out Data Protection which allows the Commvault technology to deliver data protection at the speed of flash, he said. Commvault in the last few weeks also just said it became a momentum partner of HPE.

“Storage is a huge market,” he said. ”We in no way plan to dominate the market. There‘s plenty of space to partner.”

Commvault Tuesday also introduced a new intelligent data management portfolio which saw it break up its previous Commvault Complete platform into two as a way to simplify how it works with customers.

The first is Commvault Backup & Recovery, a new standalone product for backing up and protecting all workloads, including containers, cloud-native, and virtual workloads across on-premises and cloud environments, through a single platform.

The second is Commvault Disaster Recovery, which the company said offers a comprehensive technology for business continuity and verifiable recoverability of data across on-premise and cloud environments.

Commvault Backup & Recovery and Commvault Disaster Recovery are available as stand-alone products, or can be bundled together as Commvault Complete Data Protection, Rajagopalan said.

Rajagopalan said Commvault had offered disaster recovery as part of the older Commvault Complete offering.

“But Commvault Disaster Recovery is a new simple solution targeted at VMware environments, both on-premises and in clouds including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure,” he said. ”Customers need a flexible solution for disaster recovery. And that‘s where we come in.”

Commvault Backup & Recovery and Commvault Disaster Recovery both use the same software image, and any quarterly updates will touch on both to keep them simple, Recovery and Commvault Disaster Recovery said.

“The key is, customers are looking for more cloud-like capabilities,” he said. ”They want license flexibility. So we‘re offering them the ability to license just what they need. We also see a lot of service providers clamoring for a strong disaster recovery technology they can use with other vendors’ data protection applications.”

While both Commvault Backup & Recovery and Commvault Disaster Recovery are separate, when bundled together as part of Commvault Complete Data Protection, the total cost is actually lower than the sum of the two together, he said.

Rowe told CRN that the new data protection and disaster recovery offerings unveiled Tuesday also bring simplification to Commvault channel partners.

“It‘s all about creating a lot of new ’thin edges of wedges’ to keep customers’ doors open,” he said. ”We’re going after specific use cases. Partners are carrying a lot of different products. Yes, it’s a packaging question, but it hits at the core of what partners are trying to do for customers.”

Partner training for the new software is already available, and certifications are being updated, Rowe said.

Partners who worked with Commvault Complete in the past will find themselves quickly getting up-to-date on Commvault Complete Data Protection, he said.

“A partner comfortable with selling Complete can sell the essentially same package with the new name, or break it up, or extend it with other offerings,” he said.

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