[Preamble: I will be a delegate of Storage Field Day 14. My expenses, travel and accommodation are paid for by GestaltIT, the organizer and I am not obligated to blog or promote the technologies presented in this event]
I am off to the US again next Monday. I am attending Storage Field Day 14 and it will be a 20+ hour long haul flight. But this SFD has a special twist, because I will be Washington DC first for Commvault GO 2017 conference. And I can’t wait.
My first encounter with Commvault goes way back in early 2001. I recalled they had their Galaxy version but in terms of market share, they were relatively small compared to Veritas and IBM at the time. I was with NetApp back then, and customers in Malaysia hardly heard of them, except for the people in Shell IT International (SITI). For those of us in the industry, we all knew that SITI worldwide had an exclusive Commvault fork just for them.
My first true calling to get more in depth with Commvault was in 2006 when I became the Global Support Lead for the Shell SITI GUSto (Global Unified Storage) project. I was the first Malaysian hire of Hitachi Data Systems in the Netherlands to set up the Project Management Office in Malaysia, together with my boss, Mr. Stijn Witkam. The GUSto project had 3 mega-centers (Amsterdam, Houston and Cyberjaya in Malaysia), 40+ regional centers and 700+ Shell remote offices all around the world. It was a massive effort to deliver GUSto within 2 years.
My team was to support the implementation of several key technologies which included HDS USPs, virtualizing the NetApp FAS arrays, with a combination of Brocade and Cisco Fibre Channel switches, Windows Storage Servers (for the smaller sites) and of course, at the heart of the data protection of the storage and data, Commvault. SITI at the time, was transitioning from the “special Shell” Commvault version of 3.8 to version 4.x, and at the same time, SITI was encouraged to wean off their in-house Commvault version to the GA stable version.
There I took it upon myself to learn about Commvault. One thing that differentiated Commvault from Veritas NetBackup (I was a trained and certified engineer of Veritas NetBackup during my Sun Microsystems days prior to NetApp), was their Common Technology Engine (CTE).
As an industry observer, I strongly believed that Commvault’s CTE was instrumental in making Commvault the leader they are today.
Back in the early 2000s, Veritas momentum, growth and market share was built with acquisitions. NetBackup was an acquisition from OpenVision, and so was Enterprise Vault, which from kVault Software. I also remembered notable acquired companies like Precise Software and Seagate Software (the Backup Exec piece). So, Veritas was a mish-mash of several software companies and technologies.
Commvault CTE was unique among the enterprise backup software at the time. They advocated a single platform where backup/recovery, archiving and replication were all part of the same architecture in a well-oiled platform. Backup admins and specialists could easily integrate their entire data protection architecture with Commvault’s Commserv, CommCell, iDA and storage policies. Everything was integrated. The admins and the engineers did not have to switch from one console and interface to another when they wanted to move from backup to replication. The beauty and elegance of a single platform sang a melodious tune to the data protection folks because believe me, backup and recovery is not the No 1 fun thing to do every day.
From then on, I have seen Commvault grown leaps and bounds. They have been a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Data Backup and Recovery Solutions for 7-years in a row! That is an incredible feat!
Below is the latest Magic Quadrant:
The backup and recovery has evolved, and in recent years, the hyper-converged play has crept into this space. New concepts such as virtualized applications, containers, microservices are dotting the data landscape. The likes of Rubrik, Cohesity and on the copy data management side, Actifio and Delphix, have been taking mind shares from the new generation of customers.
And Commvault has responded with their new HyperScale (TM) Appliance. And this is the technology I can’t wait to see at Commvault GO next week!
Watch this wonderful video about the Commvault HyperScale Appliance chalk talk curated by Storage Switzerland below:
So, for the second time in my career, Commvault has come calling again, extending their invitation to me as a Storage Field Day delegate.
And I am pumped and excited to be there!