There is a famous hamburger chain that used to tout, “You can have it your way,” whereby instead of getting your burger fully-loaded (with all the fixin’s), you can choose whether you wanted pickles, tomatoes, or anything else.
For the last two decades, CommVault has been offering a fully-loaded data protection solution that encompassed backup, archiving, replication, snapshots, etc. Over the course of time, and based on customer feedback, it continually added features – just like the burger chains that now add bacon, steak-sauce, grilled onions instead of fresh, etc. The challenge was and is that not everyone wants their burger fully-loaded, nor their data protection solution fully-featured.
Often IT organizations are either intentionally diversifying their data protection tool set (instead of seeking out one solution to protect it all) – or there are addressing a point problem, where one particular kind of workload needed better protection than the status quo. Unfortunately, a fully loaded solution doesn’t always align with that point product approach that many IT organizations are looking for – so CommVault did something rather atypical, they segmented the Simpana licensing around four solution-sets:
- Virtualization-protection & Cloud-management
- IntelliSnap (snapshot) recovery
- Endpoint protection
- Email archiving
While many companies have a broad spectrum of data protection capabilities, those capabilities often come from running multiple products – even if they are from the same vendor, perhaps even licensed in bundles or suites. CommVault has never had that challenge – as its overall feature-set has grown through its one and only Simpana codebase. It’s always been “fully loaded,” just like the big burger.
So, while some other vendors are trying to converge their products for better interoperability, CommVault is going the other direction – separating out the licensing, while maintaining a single product line. The result is very similar to the burger options:
Everyone gets the same top bun – the management UI – though only the licensed functions will appear within it. When you add new functionality, new features will simply appear in the UI.
Everyone gets the same bottom bun – the Simpana ContentStore – which is the converged storage infrastructure consisting of tape, cloud and disk repositories, which will vary based on business goal, but has always been shared by the higher-level Simpana functions.
Everyone gets the same meat patty – the Simpana engine – most typically used for backups, but is in its essence a job scheduler, catalog of recoverable points, etc.
Choose your toppings … based on which workloads need better protecting and/or which point products that you are considering or needing replacement for.
Certainly, when adapting a data protection product to be utilized by secondary IT Pros (those seeking point solutions, such as storage, virtualization, archive or endpoint administrators), there will be some adjustments in the sales dialog, as well as the evaluation and adoption cycles. On the upside, this does allow secondary IT decision makers to choose Simpana for their particular workloads, while the backup administrator will still have the skills and tools to help those IT professionals be successful in protecting their organizations’ data – see earlier blog on workload-centric protection enablement.
In short, by offering an ala-carte way to consume Simpana, CommVault continues to demonstrate its willingness to adapt to customer demand – without sacrificing the single, core-platform that it has built its success upon for many years of data protection evolution.
[Originally posted on ESG’s Technical Optimist.com]