CommVault overhauls data-protection software

By Kevin Komiega

—CommVault has unveiled a major new release of its flagship data-protection software suite with the launch of Simpana 7.0—formerly known as the QiNetix data-management suite. CommVault scrapped that moniker in favor of Simpana and packed the new suite with enhancements to data protection, archiving, and replication features, additional platform coverage, and other features.

Simpana 7.0 includes Enterprise-wide Search and Discovery capabilities, Single Instance Store (SIS)—more commonly referred to as data de-duplication—high-performance content indexing, data classification, expanded security and encryption features, and post-processing for encryption, content indexing, and SIS.

"This release is an extension of our unified approach to data protection. Instead of throwing multiple point products at the problem we offer archiving, storage resource management for primary and secondary data, backup and recovery, replication, discovery, and single-instance storage—all with one product," says David West, CommVault's vice president of marketing and business development.

Simpana 7.0 offers a number of new ways to tackle old problems such as information access via indexing and search technologies. The Simpana 7.0 suite creates a virtual information pool of searchable content from files, e-mails, and attachments stored across separate backup, archive, and online data sets. Corporate users can then access in real-time current and historical information through a Web-based interface.

Self-service search
The Simpana 7.0 suite offers Discovery and Business Compliance Search, a tool that gives privileged users data access to quickly respond to discovery requests driven by various regulations.

CommVault's self-service search capability makes data that has been locked in backup or archive copies available from a single search interface. In a single search using keywords or phrases, a user is presented with all the relevant items spanning their online and offline managed copies across different client and application systems. Search results are automatically limited and restricted based on the organization's existing security scheme.

Data reduction
In what CommVault's West says is a response to customer demand, the company introduced Single Instance Store (SIS) technology in Simpana 7.0, which reduces the number of duplicate copies of data stored on disk. Like de-duplication technology, SIS stores only unique files and attachments across backup cycles and archive sets, spanning different applications and client systems. CommVault's SIS can be hosted on any disk library and gives users the ability to change locations, disk types, and vendors over time without decompressing the entire data set.

Indexing and classification
CommVault's Simpana 7.0 launch includes the integration of the FAST InStream enterprise search platform, which provides a contextual index supporting 370 content types and 77 languages. Indexed items can be contain e-mail messages, attachments, postings, files, and documents from Microsoft Exchange Server and SharePoint, IBM Lotus Domino, and NAS file shares across Windows, Linux, and Unix file systems.

CommVault also added so-called Smart Clients to its software suite. The clients can apply a broad set of data-management policies such as file archiving, online content indexing, and resource management, while minimizing the impact on the production environment.

Laura DuBois, storage software research director at International Data Corp. (IDC), says the most compelling new feature in the Simpana 7.0 release is the integration of search and indexing capabilities that allow for the indexing of backups before they go to tape.

"There is a lot of pain around litigation and backup tapes. CommVault is offering a much more intelligent way to do discovery of data on backup tapes," says DuBois.

CommVault hasn't forgotten about security. Simpana 7.0 includes expanded enterprise security and role-based authentication, including Microsoft Active Directory integration, Single-Sign-On authentication, and broader data encryption to include popular ciphers such as the AES-256 standard. Also, the software now offers a post-processing option, allowing users to apply advanced data-management processes such as encryption, single instancing, content indexing, and disaster-recovery copies during the post-processing phase, minimizing the impact on production systems.

The entire Simpana 7.0 suite is currently available. Pricing for specific configurations is available upon request.

This article was originally published on July 10, 2007