Reflections From a Vegas Cloud: Recap of VMware Partner Exchange 2013

Posted 8 March 2013 12:41 PM by Commvault

So another fast-paced, fun and informative VMware Partner Exchange event is in the books. The curtain has come down and the lights are dimmed. Lots of discussion and ideas.

Commvault at PEX 2013

There was never a dull moment for the Commvault team who was busy from dawn until dusk with demos and discussions of our newly launched Simpana 10 software and meetings with our rapidly growing and maturing partner community. One of the highlights for me personally was having the opportunity to present to a big group of partners at our Breakout Session: "Data Management at Cloud Scale with Commvault Simpana v10". Be sure to visit this link in a couple weeks as a recorded version will be posted soon.

The CommVault Team in Action at PEX 2013.
The Commvault Team in Action at PEX 2013

We had a number of requests for a copy of the presentation, so I am including a link to a downloadable version here.

The Future of the Data Center is in the Clouds

Yup, this statement is officially a cliché. I get it. But it also happens to be case. The data center conversation has shifted from a vSphere-centric view for deploying more agile applications to focus on the operational and scale efficiencies that come with a cloud-centric model. Most of the discussions I had revolved around partners leveraging scalable infrastructure built on the vCloud Suite. The use cases of course run the gamut from private cloud projects to IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The trick is we've rapidly shifted from the business models planning stage to execution. Many providers and partners are quickly building infrastructure and services. And from what I can tell, customers are driving them there.

This is great validation of the strategy we've pursued at Commvault. The enhancements and new features we've added to Simpana 10 for integrating and enabling MSPs, cloud providers and partners deploying shared services infrastructures are considerable. Partners looking to expand their cloud-based services can now either:

  1. Combine data protection and data management services with a service catalog (think an embedded backup option for hosted software or service offering)

  2. Leverage the native secure multi-tenant capabilities built in to Simpana software to deliver hosted DR, archive, eDiscovery and a host of other dedicated data management services direct to customers

To deliver these services, partners now have access to a host of new capabilities designed specifically for the efficiency, manageability and scale cloud providers require. At the top of this list are:

  1. Deep vCloud Director Integration (including single step restores direct to vCloud) — Yup, we protect the vCloud metadata for vApps and VDCs for a seamless, simple experience
  2. Workflow Automation — I blogged on this one recently, be sure to check this out as this is going to change the game for MSPs and Cloud Providers
  3. Secure, Self-Service Access to Data — Simpana 10 now provides a host of options for end users and admins alike to access their own data on the fly from any location and any device. Huge operational efficiencies for MSPs to get out of help desk activities like running restores.
Simpana 10 Console protecting a multi-tenanted vCloud deployment.
A view of the new Simpana 10 Console protecting a multi-tenanted vCloud deployment from our PEX 2013 Demo

End User Computing is Advancing to Address the Mobility Push

Another big topic of discussion was the latest in VMware's End User Computing focus. Again, not really a huge surprise, this has been the focus for more than a year now. I agree with Elias Knaser here, Horizon is getting closer, but all the integration points are still coming together. Nevertheless a number of partners I spoke with are very encouraged with the progress made here.

This is again, great validation of the efforts the Commvault team has made in End User Computing as Commvault is integrated with VMware View and is the preferred partner for both the Mobile Secure Desktop and Branch Office Desktop solutions. Partners and customers deploying VMware View solutions can be sure they have a fully optimized data protection solution at their fingertips in the form of Simpana Software.

Disaster Recovery is Top of Mind with Most Storage Focused Partners

The final big topic I was involved with was disaster recovery. Of course, much of this took place in the context of use cases and strategies for leveraging the Cloud. Hosted DR and DR as a Service is a great early use case for cloud storage. See the recent ESG publication Data Protection Forecast Calls for Clouds on this.

Once more, new innovations now available in Simpana 10 to enhance, accelerate and automate DR strategies are positioning us to delivering compelling solutions for customers and partners. I plan to blog on this in detail very soon because there are some interesting details and news to share. But the high level capabilities to look for in enhancing your DR strategy include:

  1. DASH Copy — in essence, this is a unique approach to delivering dedupe aware copy operations (we only move changed blocks from one dedupe store to the next). This opens up lots of cool uses cases and DR is big one.
  2. Virtualize Me — Performs a P2V conversion from a backup copy. Great for running DR tests. We started this late in V9 and enhanced in v10. Check "Virtualize Me" in action here.

Finally, the Funny (and dark) Side of VMware

This is recommended reading in my view partially for the entertainment value. But it provides some insight into the stakes involved in the cloud game and how much some of the key players in our industry have invested.

The interesting conclusion for me on this is that it is becoming apparent that not every vendor truly understands that the move to cloud-based computing models is not a zero sum game. The pie is expanding and there is room for any technology provider who can add value to their customers — something the Commvault team is laser focused on. And just to be clear, Commvault has very successful relationships with both VMware and Amazon, each of which accomplishes exactly this goal of adding value to customers based on their needs. And, at the end of the day, that is why we're in this game in the first place.