Commvault Buys Hedvig – Insights and Ramifications

The data protection market is at a crossroads. Traditional software vendors like Commvault, EMC-Dell, Veeam and Veritas provide data protection software that resellers or end-users install on servers and storage they acquire separately. The approach tends to be services heavy. New emerging vendors like Rubrik and Cohesity, provide converged solutions that combine data protection software with scale-out storage software (and in some cases hardware) to create a more turnkey approach.

The traditional software vendors are all trying to provide a converged option to their customers. Veritas offers turnkey appliances and is moving to containerize its software. EMC-Dell is delivering a new backup solution, PowerProtect. Veeam, is partnering with Nutanix to leverage their “Mine” solution. Commvault, for its part, has HyperScale, its Linux based scale-out, software defined storage software often combined with Cisco UCS hardware.

Today, Commvault, by acquiring Hedvig, takes a significant step in solidifying not only its converged data protection architecture, but also setting itself up as a leader in the category. The challenge with most converged data protection software solutions is that they either lack true scale-out storage software integration or they lack the complete platform coverage required by today’s enterprise. Commvault+Hedvig, on day one, provide a formidable data protection and storage software bundle. In the future, this combination enables Commvault to be not only a leader in the converged data protection space, but also a company that can deliver on the converged data protection promises while also moving into Converged Data Management.

What Does Commvault Get?

By acquiring Hedvig, Commvault gains access to a scale-out software defined storage solution that is already in-market with revenue customers. Hedvig’s initial successes have been in secondary storage use case markets as well as providing storage to Dev/Ops environments using containers. Commvault can obviously add additional sales and marketing resources to these efforts and accelerate Hedvig’s growth and success. An aggressive bundle with Commvault data protection software makes obvious sense. Going forward, Commvault is making it clear that it will continue to integrate the two technologies more tightly, with the eventual goal to create a converged data management platform.

However, converged data protection isn’t the only outcome of this acquisition, Commvault may also significantly increase its cloud capabilities. In addition to the software, Commvault also gets Hedvig’s CEO, Avinash Lakshman, also known as the father of both Cassandra and Amazon’s Dynamo DB. He and the Hedvig development team know scale-out storage, scale-out applications and all things cloud.

With cyber-threats increasing in number and complexity, as well as increased demands from regulating bodies, the data protection process needs to do more than just store a second copy of data. It needs to aid the organization in protecting against these threats and adhering to new regulations. All of which is going to take more advanced metadata indexing (databases) and the ability to scale the data protection application across multiple nodes in either an on-premises or cloud-based cluster. Lakshman and team have the pedigree to help Commvault be a leader in these transitions.

StorageSwiss Take

The data protection market is one of the most competitive within all of IT. The environment is ever changing and customers are constantly raising their expectations. Converging data protection seems like a viable option but only if those solutions can provide some semblance of flexibility.

Commvault’s data protection portfolio is one of the most complete in the industry and the company has already taken steps toward a converged platform. Now, with the Hedvig acquisition, it is all in. Execution is key. Commvault needs to maintain, if not increase, Hedvig’s current success while at the same time executing on integration that establishes a new bar for converged data protection solutions in terms of ease of use and platform coverage with the eventual result being Converged Data Management.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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