Commvault GO 2017 Recap

November 13th, 2017
Commvault GO 2017 Recap

Last week, thousands of IT professionals gathered in Washington, D.C. for Commvault GO 2017. Commvault GO is Commvault’s annual technical conference for storage and data management professionals. Now in its second year, Commvault GO was created to showcase the newest products and solutions from Commvault and to give end-users an update on the strategic direction of the company.

The agenda was jam-packed with fascinating presentations, breakout sessions, and technical trainings. Luckily, I created a thorough plan for each day so I could make the most of my time at Commvault GO! However, after walking the floor and attending several breakout sessions and technical trainings, I quickly recognized two recurring themes:

  1. Organizations need to shift to a “Data-Centric” approach
  2. Commvault is making strides to simplify the deployment and management of their solutions

So, let me break down these two themes:

Robert Hammer, CEO of Commvault, did a brilliant job in his keynote presentation speaking to the “Data-Centric” approach. Hammer spoke about how customers today are starting to change their mindset from infrastructure-centric to data-centric due to a dramatic increase in the new data generation, which is predicted to grow 10x each year from today (163 zettabytes for those keeping score at home) up until 2025. He explained that customers will be forced to focus less on their IT infrastructure and more on the data stored and moving between that infrastructure. Commvault’s answer to this challenge is the Commvault Data Management Platform.  Simply stated, the platform is designed to help organizations achieve better data insights for compliance, e-discovery and a variety of other digital transformation use cases. 

Today, customers are trying to figure out how to distribute and share their data across multiple platforms, which makes where the data lives irrelevant. At the same time, data protection is critical.  There seems to be a concession that it’s no longer a matter of “if” a ransomware attack will hit but rather “when.”   No matter the severity of the breach, whether just a few servers were affected or your entire system crashed, the goal is to get operations back online quickly and with minimal data loss. With tools like Intellisnap & Live Sync, customers are provided with the resources to rapidly recover in place or restore operations in another location with minimal downtime, even on a completely different infrastructure.  The key to making this all work is planning.  In fact, every customer that presented spoke about their S.O.P. when it comes to ransomware attacks. To say “measure twice and cut once” is an understatement, especially when factoring public cloud into the equation. The industry is trying to carefully navigate these waters and ultimately, we are all going to have to get to this place to continue to innovate and grow in all of our respective industries.

The second theme of simplicity I found very refreshing.  While Commvault’s capabilities are vast and go far beyond the limits of just backup and recovery, that robust feature set has in the past carried the misperception of the solution being complex to manage.  As a result, Commvault has come out with new and innovative solutions to streamline these processes to become more operational and efficient. The first new streamlined solution, and one of the most talked about products of the conference, is Commvault Hyperscale.

Commvault Hyperscale can be used as an appliance or as software. It consolidates all the roles performed by discrete servers in the traditional data protection architecture into a single software defined stack. As mentioned previously, this new offering follows Commvault’s new simplistic and stripped-down approach:

  1. Setup time is 30 minutes for the appliance
  2. You only buy what you need today since growing the solution is a simple as adding 3 nodes at a time growing out the CPU, compute and memory resources at the same time
  3. No more data silos along with fork lift migrations when it’s time to refresh
  4. More resiliency built into solution as losing a drive or even an entire node does not take down the back environment
  5. Operation efficiency (especially when using the appliance) as less “components” to maintain (no storage, no SAN, etc…)
  6. Supported by 7 platforms and can be consumed as an appliance or as software

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Commvault. Eliminating what used to be several weeks of work to just days is every IT professionals dream, especially when a lot of automation is required.

To summarize, Commvault GO 2017 was fascinating and I could not be more pleased with the direction Commvault has chosen to take. Their understanding of the customers thought process and their simplified solutions show that Commvault has listened to our feedback and is growing as an organization. I can’t wait for Commvault GO 2018!

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