CommVault eyes data dedupe, records management and SaaS

CommVault says it's continuing to win business from competitors in data backup and is now looking to new markets, such as data deduplication, information and records management, and SaaS.

CommVault System Inc.'s recent earnings show its addition of archiving, replication, single instance and continuous data protection (CDP) have pushed sales, and the data protection vendor is eyeing more hot markets, such as block-level data deduplication and information management.

CommVault reported $56.6 million in revenue last quarter, an increase of 33% over last year, 13% over the previous quarter and more than financial analysts expected. For the full fiscal year, CommVault's revenue of $198.3 million represented an increase of 31% over fiscal 2007.

About a third of the company's 8,000 customers are running Simpana 7.0, which launched last year, said CEO Bob Hammer, on the company's earnings call Tuesday night. Within that, archiving is up 103% compared to a year ago, and other emerging technologies, such as replication, single instancing and CDP were each up over 100%.

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Recent market research also suggests that CommVault is winning converts from among the customers of other backup products. TheInfoPro's Wave 10 storage study, based on a survey of Fortune 1000 customers and released in March, found CommVault won over the largest percentage of new customers versus Symantec, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. According to TheInfoPro, 40% switched to CommVault from a competing vendor.

But CommVault competitors also offer the features Hammer referenced. It's the combination of those features and Simpana's unified platform that's made CommVault more successful recently, according to analyst Brian Babineau, Enterprise Strategy Group. "There are three catalysts for backup software right now: backup to disk, VMware, and Windows [Server 2008] refresh," he said. "They [CommVault] have a great story on the single platform, and resellers and customers look for good stories when there are catalysts."

Hammer declined to say what proportion of customers are using each of the three modules of the Simpana suite, which comprises backup, archiving and replication integrated around a single Windows software engine. But he did say that 35% of the company's revenue in sales over $100,000 comes from those newer advanced features. Those deals are also growing increasingly common, according to Hammer.

"We're seeing more very large deals in the pipeline across all geographies than a year ago," he said.

CommVault is hoping that continuing to add new features will keep that trend going – areas of focus for the company in the near future will include block-level data deduplication, information management, records management, Storage as a Service (SaaS) and laptop/desktop backup.

"I'm not saying we're moving away from backup, but industry requirements are changing," Hammer said. But don't be looking for CommVault to get into hosting online backups – it's leaving that to partners, which includes Rackspace and Incentra.

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