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Commvault Go: Commvault Steps Up Data Protection Game

New data protection appliances, strategic relationships and services will share the spotlight at the company's annual Commvault Go conference and point to a richer technology offering for channel partners.

Commvault this week is introducing a significant upward and downward expansion of its HyperScale line of data protection appliances, as well as new partnerships with NetApp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise aimed at making it easier for a wider range of channel partners to work with the vendor.

The changes are being introduced at the Commvault Go conference being held this week in Nashville, Tenn.

Commvault Go will count close to 400 channel partners from 27 countries among its attendees and will feature the company's first pre-Go channel partner conference, said Scott Strubel, vice president of worldwide channels for the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based data protection vendor.

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"We're also hosting for the first time chief technology officers and vice presidents of engineering from our partners to meet with us at Go," Strubel told CRN. "We're giving them an opportunity to share information with us."

New from Commvault this week is the expansion of its HyperScale cloud-ready data protection appliances, Strubel said.

That appliance line currently consists of the HS1300, which features usable capacity of 29 TB to 84 TB with an average price of between $50,000 and $75,000. The HS appliances provide scale-out data protection integrated with the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite.

The company this week is introducing the HS3300, a new appliance featuring 174 TB to 262 TB of usable capacity and a target average selling price of $300,000 to $450,000, Strubel said. The HS3300 is targeted at managed service providers and large enterprises, he said.

Also new is the Commvault Remote Office Appliance, a version featuring 5 TB to 15 TB of usable capacity with an average selling price of $15,000 to $30,000, Strubel said. It is targeted at smaller enterprises or remote offices, he said.

Data protection requires an environment that can grow with customers' fast-growing data storage requirements, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp and Commvault channel partner.

"This year, a customer might expect to back up 100 TB of data," Woodall said. "Next year, it might be 200 TB. In three years, it might be 400 TB. But the backup vendor probably will not change. Customers always need more performance and capacity. Commvault's HyperScale appliances let partners take a cookie-cutter approach to the growth."

The HS3300 is slated to ship in December, while the Commvault Remote Office Appliance is now shipping.

Commvault this week is also unveiling a significant expansion of its reseller agreement with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage vendor NetApp. Prior to joining Commvault in April, Strubel led NetApp's Americas channels.

Starting this month, NetApp's direct and indirect sales teams will have full access to the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite, Strubel said. This replaces an earlier agreement under which NetApp resold Commvault's IntelliSnap technology for creating point-in-time data snapshots for backups.

With the agreement, NetApp will sell the same Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite offered by Commvault through its own channel partners as a NetApp SKU, Strubel said.

"We're targeting NetApp's channel partners," he said. "Every one of NetApp's authorized partners can sell the NetApp SKU. Or, if they are also Commvault partners, they can sell it as a Commvault SKU. The compensation and price is the same."

Strubel said Commvault and NetApp are working together to ensure there are no channel conflicts between the two vendors when selling the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite.

NetApp's reselling of Commvault's IntelliSnap technology was a good move, but the NetApp version wasn't the full version, so that a partner with relationships with both vendors had two different offerings, Woodall said.

"Now Commvault is talking about the full-blown version of its Commvault Complete," he said. "So if I'm a Commvault partner, I can sell it natively. And if I'm with a NetApp customer who needs Commvault, I can also offer it."

Strubel knows how to run a good channel program, Woodall said. "And he knows NetApp well," he said. "Commvault has the right channel guy, and he's definitely helping them build a better channel."

Commvault and Palo Alto, Calif.-based HPE are also expanding their relationship to allow Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite to be resold by HPE via its channel partners, Strubel said. HPE last week said that the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery suite will be integrated with its StoreOnce series of data protection appliances.

Also new from Commvault this week is the introduction of the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery as-a-Service portfolio. This repackages the Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery offering as a service.

The portfolio includes three new cloud-based services, including Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery as a Service, Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery as a Service for Virtual Machines, and Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery as a Service for Native Cloud Applications.

Finally, Commvault also used the Commvault Go conference to introduce Commvault Activate, a new offering that takes advantage of artificial intelligence learning methods to understand the context and meaning across data sources regardless of location or data type.

Commvault Activate provides enterprises with information about their data, which can then be used to develop dashboards and automated policies to improve decision-making and provide business insight, the company said.

The Commvault news comes just three months after the company unveiled a six-point plan for simplifying how it works with channel partners.

That simplification initiative included six points, including the introduction of an all-new Partner Success Desk, an all-new Partner Demand Center, an improved Commvault Quote Center, a refreshed partner portal, a simplified Partner Advantage program, and the reduction in number of product sets from 25 to four, Strubel said.

A lot has happened in those three months related to Commvault's simplification moves, Strubel said.

For instance, Commvault's Partner Success Desk, which offers an on-demand services center for partners worldwide, was offered to respond to requests for proposal, technical help or sales help, he said.

"We launched it in July, but we've already had over 2,600 requests for support come in via phone, email and so on," he said. "About 70 percent of calls were specified as requiring sales or technical help, while 30 percent of callers were not sure what they needed. We're doing a very good job of triaging that 30-percent of calls as they come in."

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