CommVault today released the latest version of the company’s data archiving and protection software platform, Simpana 10.

According to Greg White, senior manager of Product Marketing for CommVault, version 10 is a big milestone for the company and its venerable backup and archiving software. Simpana 10 is “our biggest release ever with over 300 new enhancements to Simpana,” he said.

Rather than finding faster, more flexible and efficient ways of guarding against data loss — although also goals — this latest version was guided by another philosophy, said White. CommVault’s team asked itself, “How we can help customers get more value from their data?” he said.

Simpana 10 stores backups in a virtual repository called ContentStore, which enables the company to layer advanced search, analytics and storage management functionality onto the underlying data. In effect, it allows Simpana to serve as a gateway to Big Data analytics and cloud-like workloads.

“Simpana ContentStore lays the foundation for future innovation, such as automated, content-based retention, and opens the Simpana platform for integration with third-party analytics and business intelligence applications,” said the company in a statement.

In Simpana 10, CommVault’s efforts manifest themselves in new self-service features that allow end-users to access data directly, freeing storage administrators from taking time from their IT duties to process requests for fetching data from backups.

One example is a new plugin for Microsoft Outlook. Within seconds, users can search entire archives to recover and view an email that would otherwise be locked away on a backup system. Another example is a revamped search engine that offers better load balancing by taking a “cloud of search nodes” approach. This results in faster, more accurate searches results that are both user- and mobile-friendly. White reported that the new search capabilities are “a lot more Google-like with deep filters.”

Simpana’s core capabilities were also subject to a major refresh.

New IntelliSnap snapshot management (formerly SnapProtect) features expanded storage hardware compatibility and improved integration across the board, enabling storage administrators to kick off automated backup jobs easier and with a minimum of scripting or deep level administration tasks. IntelliSnap supports Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V and features upgraded support for SAP, Oracle and IBM DB2 and Lotus Notes.

CommVault also aims to take some of the complexity out of managing data protection on virtual machines. Simpana 10 offers “new ways in how you can auto-discover” virtual machines making it easier to automatically detect and protect them, informed White.

Other enhancements include solid-state disk (SSD) support. Also on tap is the company’s fourth generation deduplication technology with support for expanded capacity and new, graphical web reporting tools that allow storage administrators to keep an eye on their Simpana environment on mobile devices like the iPad.

Simpana 10 is available now.