However, the new software, which can be loaded directly onto an application server or on a separate Windows server, works only in connection with CommVault's other QiNetix data management and storage management products. QNet gathers backup and recovery information from CommVault's Galaxy application; archiving and migration info from its DataMigrator; and high-availability metrics from the company's Quick Recovery software. In addition, it offers a variety of status reports, including which jobs and operations succeeded and which failed, and trend information to guide customers through necessary changes to correct or improve operations, CommVault says.
Of course, many other vendors are also touting products aimed at improving storage utilization, including Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Legato Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: LGTO), and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS). But Van Wagoner insists that CommVault is the only company currently offering a view of the entire storage smorgasbord (see CA Spans Into SANs and Veritas Moves up the Stack).
Enterprise Storage Group Inc. analyst Steve Kenniston says CommVault has a unique offering today. "It's pretty interesting to see CommVault taking an approach that follows the lifecycle management paradigm," he says. "They're moving up the food chain... to ease companies through the cycle." Especially for smaller enterprises, he says, this approach should prove attractive.
But at least one vendor, Bocada Inc., seems to offer very similar functionality. Bocada's BackupReport software, which already has 80 customers, tracks backups' success and failure rates, data backup trends, system throughput, and other metrics. And, unlike CommVault's QNet, Backup Report doesn't only play with itself.
"Our experience tells us that nearly all of the major enterprise customers have heterogeneous software environments," says Bocada VP of marketing Drake Pruitt, pointing out that Backup Report supports six third-party backup software packages. "People don't want to manage those [packages] as islands."