Commvault Tuesday unveiled a multiyear strategic agreement with Microsoft to integrate the marketing, engineering and sales of the Commvault Metallic SaaS data protection technology with the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Under the agreement, Commvault Metallic will be available to provide multilayered protection of Microsoft 365, Microsoft SQL, VMware and other data, including endpoint data, with the Metallic technology available to businesses and their channel partners via the Azure Marketplace.
The two will build a SaaS offering combining Commvault Metallic Cloud Storage with Azure Blob Storage and include deep integration with other native Azure services.
[Related: CEO Sanjay Mirchandani On Commvault’s Future: Metallic, Hedvig, Data Management]
Commvault Metallic was introduced last October as the company’s first SaaS data protection technology targeting midrange and SMB customers, as opposed to Commvault’s mainstream data protection technology, which has traditionally been focused on enterprise customers.
Securing endpoint data has been a challenge for customers, but Commvault Metallic has shown it is up to the task, said Manny Punzo, director of data protection and management at Technologent, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime Commvault channel partner.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in SaaS including in Metallic, not just for Microsoft 365 but for endpoints and security in general,” Punzo told CRN. “Commvault was probably one of the first OEMs to work with Azure. When I look at the overall ecosystem, Commvault is moving data management to Azure and providing a solution that covers data protection, compliance [and] governance to data on-premises or in the cloud.”
Commvault CEO Sanjay Mirchandani told CRN that Commvault and Microsoft have been working together for nearly two decades and were looking at how to work more closely together based on business’ changing needs.
“A lot of our customers go down the journey on hyper-cloud and multi-cloud, and will say, ‘Hey, how well do you work with this, how well do you work with that?'” Mirchandani said. “And Azure came up a lot. And as Azure came up a lot, I decided it’s time to go pay [Microsoft’s headquarters at] Redmond a visit and talk to them about what is possible.”
The result was a multfaceted partnership that provides businesses with the data protection they trust on a public cloud while making sure the two companies’ joint channel is incented, enabled and activated to go take these solutions to customers, Mirchandani said.
The joint offering was designed to be easy to integrate, he said.
“It’s going to be in the Azure Marketplace, which is as close as you get to being a seamless experience,” he said. “So, if you’re in the Azure Marketplace, the way it’s delivered, the way it’s consumed, it just feels and smells like that.”
The bulk of Metallic’s backplane is built on Azure, and it supports a lot of the Azure APIs and technologies in a way that really brings value to customers, Mirchandani said.
“Data protection on our side, which is what we focus on, we’re really good at that,” he said. “But we also want to make sure that customers have a choice of being able to protect from anything to anything. And we’re optimizing a lot of our technology to work with Azure and take advantage of the Azure Stack.”
Businesses can acquire Commvault Metallic on Azure through the Azure Marketplace or via channel partners, Mirchandani said.
“The nice thing about the Azure Marketplace is that if the customer is using a partner to work with on the Marketplace, they continue having that relationship,” he said. “It’s the best of both worlds, however the customer wishes to consume it. The really nice thing about the Azure Marketplace is that the billing and everything else is all seamless. The same with getting activated and up and running. All of that is just engineered in.”
Channel partners are expected to help customers with integration, upgrading, management and other services, Mirchandani said.
“[It’s] all the things that partners do because this is an enterprise-grade product,” he said. “If you’ve got thousands of endpoints, if you’ve got thousands of servers, partners will take care of that.”
Punzo said he will be interested in seeing the services opportunities for Commvault Metallic on Microsoft Azure given that Metallic is fairly easy to install.
“But if a client has a couple thousand servers, they will need to think about how to push the technology out and manage it,” he said. “So there will be services opportunities.”
Mirchandani said that when Commvault first introduced Metallic last year, it was targeted at midrange clients and not at enterprises.
“We launched it as a product for between roughly 500 to 2,500 employees, that sort of a sweet spot. And what’s happened over the past two months is, and I think the COVID-19 situation has only enabled it further, customers of all sizes are looking at SaaS solutions.”
Enterprise customers, midmarket customers and upper midmarket customers are now seeing their workforces distributed and data fragmented, Mirchandani said.
“A lot of customers are working with slimmer staff so they can’t get to the data centers,” he said. “Instead, they can do data protection with SaaS capability. Welcome to the world of Metallic. I said from Day One Metallic was built enterprise-grade. So for us, it wasn’t a big deal mobilizing the channel force and sales to get to the enterprise.”
Mirchandani said Commvault works with all public cloud providers as well as cloud service providers, but declined to discuss whether Commvault Metallic will be available with the same deep integration offered with Microsoft Azure.
“I’m not pre-announcing anything here,” he said. “We’re just trying to get this to be successful and focus on it, as you can imagine.”
Get your CompTIA A+, Network+ White Hat-Hacker, Certified Web Intelligence Analyst and more starting at $35 a month. Click here for more details.