Storage Soup

Aug 5 2010   3:59PM GMT

CommVault’s Simpana 9 getting close

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

You could tell by listening to CommVault’s earnings report call this week that Simpana 9 is just around the corner. Maybe it won’t be available in early October as a report out of New Zealand put it, but it probably won’t be too long after that.

We know that because CommVault CEO Bob Hammer sounded more like a product marketing manager than a CEO discussing his company’s earnings earlier this week.

Hammer gave a quick rundown of CommVault’s earnings – in line with the disappointing preliminary results it gave last month. After assuring financial analysts that things are looking up this quarter, he spent most of the call talking about Simpana 9.

Highlights of that product, which will include source- and target-side data deduplication:

  • The goal is to back up hundreds of virtual machines in minutes, scale to tens of thousands of machines across the enterprise, and speed access to data and the time it takes to recover from a failure.
  • Increased archiving features will include the ability to index and retrieve content from any repository Simpana 9 will improve on the cloud backup feature added to Simpana 8 in February, with a more scalable object data content store to enable service providers to build private or public clouds.
  • Source and target deduplication will increase effieciency “across the entire end-to-end data lifecycle” and enable rapid recovery of application data.
  • Simpana 9 will double the number of systems CommVault can manage while increasing the number of concurrent operations sixfold.
  • Simpana 9 will have simpler capacity-based licensing, automated to avoid manual periodic audits.
  • “We’ll enable the customer to dedupe at the source, target, or in between, at a very high scale and with the deduplication volume being fully indexed,” Hammer said. “All those are unique. Nobody has fully indexed dedupe, nobody can dedupe at the source or target, or manage dedupe in the stack across different storage silos.”

    When I spoke to Hammer after the call, he expanded on the “dedupe everywhere” concept.

    “It’s not just dedupe. Dedupe is a feature but it has to be managed across the stack and it has to be application specific,” he said. “What we’re seeing is to manage your data and data movement, you have to automate the virtualization layer granularly with application-specific information to manage virtual nodes that are moving dynamically. You’re talking about hundreds of thousands of these nodes. And you have to manage them to a storage space across all hardware silos. You don’t just move them with snapshots and replication. They have to be indexed and granular, and you have to be able to move them down the storage stack, across silos and into the cloud.”

    Despite his enthusiasm about the new release, Hammer remained disappointed in sales from last quarter. CommVault’s revenue was $66.3, as it forecasted in July. That was more than $5 million below Wall Street expectations. Hammer did say many deals that failed to close by the end of the quarter have since closed. The quarter was the first of CommVault’s fiscal year, and Hammer said he hasn’t lower expectations for the full year.

    “We had a big hole [last quarter],” he said. “Now our objective is to catch up.”

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