CommVault Systems Inc. Simpana 8

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Backup and disaster recovery software and services

Gold Award:

CommVault Systems Inc. Simpana 8

You can't accuse the folks over at CommVault of resting on their laurels. With this year's gold award for its Simpana 8 backup suite, CommVault is making its fourth trip to the winner's circle, having snared gold in 2002 (Galaxy 4.1), 2003 (QiNetix 4.2) and 2007 (Simpana 7.0 Software Suite) -- not only a record for our Products of the Year, but probably one for product name changes, too.

CommVault's users are also impressed. The company has finished in the top spot three of the four times we've conducted our Quality Awards survey that reflects users' satisfaction related to quality, reliability and support.

CommVault continues to enhance its flagship product. Simpana 8 boasts a slew of new or beefed-up features. Version 8's advanced block-level data deduplication extends Simpana 7's capability by taking a global approach and building it into not only the backup process but the archiving module as well. In an industry first, Simpana 8 can dedupe data on tape to reduce the number of archive tapes a company needs to maintain. The product can also dedupe remote site backups and consolidate all deduplication results in a database.

Among Simpana 8's other enhancements are new data protection features for remote offices and mobile users. Continuous data protection can capture all writes to disk and then replicate those changes back to the data center. In addition, backups that are deduped at the remote site can be replicated to the central site. Remote data protection can extend to the edge. The Workstation Backup Agent can be installed remotely on PCs where it monitors writes and sends only changed blocks to a central server from which the data can be compressed and encrypted, and backed up or archived to a central site. CommVault says a single server can support hundreds of laptops and desktops, and end users can use a Web interface to do their own file recoveries.

CommVault's integrated toolkit approach to data protection has turned a lot of users into fans. One of our judges said Simpana 8 is "an incredibly functional product that integrates more into the complete suite than most vendors even offer as separate products."

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