CommVault Grabs Its Own Bits

Its QNet software provides unified view of storage - but only if you're using CommVault's other apps

June 25, 2003

3 Min Read
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Having trouble keeping track of how much primary and backup storage each of your applications is consuming? Storage software vendor CommVault Systems Inc. says its new QNet software can get you out of that pickle -- assuming, that is, that you're already using its other storage software.

The Oceanport, N.J.-based company says its new storage management and visualization software removes the guesswork from assessing the effect of each individual application on a company's overall storage pool. CommVault's QNet software offers users a consolidated view of how different applications and changing data management policies affect the total storage environment, the company says.

The software, which is part of the QiNetix family CommVault launched last October, allows users to view an application's primary storage usage alongside its near-line, offline, and archival storage use (see CommVault Premiers QiNetix).

"The problem with a lot of existing products, is that they're all about point products... so there's no way to link the information intelligence in a way that the IT administrator can understand the impact on their consumption of resources," says Chris Van Wagoner, CommVault's director of product marketing. "QNet pulls that information together."

For example, the company says, using QNet, administrators can compare email usage in Microsoft Exchange to near-line and offline storage use. With that information, they can then create a data management policy that optimizes Exchange server performance by specifying such parameters as disk usage and individual mailbox size.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."CommVault's QNet, which has been in beta testing for the past couple of months, is generally available today. So far, the only referable customer it has landed is the State of Delaware's Dept. of Technology and Information.

The software comes in both a standard edition and an enterprise edition. The standard edition, which includes a consolidated view of a company's secondary and archival storage, as well as trending and monitoring capabilities, costs $1,500 per server. For the enterprise edition, which also includes storage resource management capabilities for primary storage, add another $1,000 per server.

Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Byte and Switch

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