It’s an Election Year: Vote Commvault for Advantages in Scalability, Flexibility and Manageability

Posted 04/04/2016 by Greg Bennett

This is the third in a series of blogs about Commvault Backup Appliances.

In the first and second related blogs, I wrote about our new ROBO appliances and tried to decipher some of our licensing alphabet soup. In this blog, I’ll address our differentiation as it relates to our ‘ability’ advantages (i.e., scalability (capacity), flexibility (what can you do with these things) and manageability (how do you manage them?) ).

We’ve heard from our colleagues at Gartner and other analysts that it’s increasingly difficult for vendors to differentiate themselves. This is compounded by the fact that many companies in our industry use similar sounding messages and do very little to stand out above the noise. So in this election year filled with unsubstantiated claims and empty promises, let me tell you how and why we’re different. And I’m going to do this without calling anybody a loser.

From a scalability standpoint, we talk about our backup appliances supporting plug-and-play scaling. This means that whether or not you scale up (i.e., add more storage shelves to an existing appliance) or scale out (i.e., add more servers as data movers, or Media Agents in Commvault-speak), you can do this without disrupting your existing environment. In other words, you don’t have to reconfigure your environment simply because your data keeps growing. Given that analysts estimate that data is growing 40%-50% per year, this is useful because it’s not a matter of if your environment will grow, but when.

From a flexibility standpoint, a key advantage is that you can expand beyond 'just' backup capabilities. Because our appliance uses Commvault software, you have access to all of the functionality of the Commvault Data Platform, including the ability to add archiving, search and/or eDiscovery if and when you need them. While our competitors may offer similar functionality, none of them can manage all of these capabilities from a single console, which means with their solutions you have to manage multiple data silos - one for backup, one for archiving and one for search, for example. This adds cost and complexity.

Additionally, as of the latest release of Commvault Software (v11), we have expanded our Parallel Deduplication support so that you can now combine up to four deduplication partitions into a single deduplication storage pool. Say what? Bottom line, this means that you have greater scalability. For instance, instead of having a dedupe pool of 288TB, you can combine appliances and support a dedupe storage pool for more than 1PB! What's more, nodes can be added without disrupting your current environment. This functionality also provides greater resiliency. Competitors either don’t offer this or it becomes extremely expensive to implement.

Speaking of resiliency, the NetApp E-Series has you covered. In addition to hot-pluggable and redundant hard drives, fans, and power supplies, the E-Series uses RAID 6 technology, meaning it can sustain up to two hard drive failures per disk shelf. And each 2712 Storage system has dual active storage controllers. Interpretation: each controller has dual access to every hard drive. There are no single points of failure OR single points of service in the system, which results in greater than five 9's of availability. This gives you peace of mind that your data is safe.

Oh, and it’s fast, too. For those who understand these types of numbers, the E2700 system can deliver up to 8GB/sec of sustained throughput or up to 80K sustained IOPs. Fast, reliable, scalable and affordable. What’s not to love?

Finally, our appliances offer centralized management, reporting and software deployment. This means you can manage multiple appliances from a single console, or single pane of glass; whereas with some competitive solutions, you can only manage or deploy software on a 1:1 basis.

This concludes my stump speech. I hope we can count on your vote. Remember, vote early and vote often! Take a look at Commvault Backup Appliances to learn more about the complete portfolio of 'A-Series' appliances. Also be sure to check out the datasheet to learn more.

A Director of Solutions Marketing at Commvault, Greg Bennett has more than 20 years of high tech experience across product marketing, product management and business development/alliances. He has also managed various enterprise server, storage and software products at Commvault.