CommVault addresses mobile and laptop data backup, 'big data' backup

CommVault enhances Simpana 9 with remote laptop data backup and a better way of backing up ‘big data’ repositories.

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CommVault upgraded its Simpana backup software today, adding remote mobile and laptop data backup, while beefing up its performance for “big data” repositories.

The enhancements are part of Simpana 9 Service Pack 4, which is likely the last major upgrade CommVault will offer until the release of Simpana 10. The Service Pack also includes greater snapshot integration with storage arrays and integration with Microsoft SharePoint to try to improve capacity utilization and backup performance.

The new remote and big data backup features are not unique to CommVault, but the vendor is continuing its strategy of offering all of its protection and management capabilities in one application. 

Analysts say remote backup is becoming a major issue for organizations. More critical data resides outside the data center, not only on laptops and desktops but also on hand-held devices such as tablets and phones. While smaller vendors like Druva have made remote mobile and laptop data backup their main focus, the larger vendors have been slow to integrate it into their applications. Protecting data outside the data center requires network-aware software that can send and retrieve data over a WAN, LAN or wireless connection while working with firewalls and network security policies.

Simpana Edge Protection uses source deduplication for data laptops and desktops outside of the data center. It also allows users to search, access and recover data through any Windows, Apple iOS or Android device.

“There’s more data floating around on mobile and laptop systems today,” said Robert Amatruda, IDC research director for data protection and recovery. “Certainly more critical data is on mobile and laptop systems.

“Building in endpoint protection [into Simpana] lets CommVault customers deploy that module without doing a real rip and replace.”

Forrester senior analyst Rachel Dines said CommVault is taking a big step in protecting data on the edge with this release, and she expects the larger backup vendors such as Symantec, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM to put more focus on remote mobile and laptop data backup.

“This is a really a big improvement over Simpana’s older PC and laptop protection,” Dines said. “Now it has source dedupe and encryption and it allows you to access files from mobile devices or go to the public cloud from mobile devices.

“I think this will be a big year for end-point data protection. I’m getting a lot of questions about it [from backup administrators].”

CommVault also added what it calls OnePass backup for large data repositories. Jeff Echols, CommVault’s senior director of cloud strategies and alliances, claims OnePass streamlines backups for files and scale-out file systems in Dell Lustre HPC and Hewlett-Packard X9000 Network Storage System. He said CommVault will add support for more NAS systems in future releases.

Simpana copies, indexes and stores data in a ContentStore virtual repository, where customers can perform data analytics and reporting functions from the index and implement tiering policies for achiving. Echols said OnePass will scan, collect and transfer data once for the backup, archive and reporting processes instead of scanning, collecting and transferring data three times.

“We’re going from three operations to one,” Echols said. “With the size of the files now, scan jobs alone are major jobs. After we scan once, we do incremental changes only. We dedupe data from the source and move it into the Simpana content store.”

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