CommVault Systems Inc. Simpana 9

Products of the Year 2010:

Backup and Disaster Recovery Software and Services

Silver Award:

CommVault Systems Inc. Simpana 9

If it seems like CommVault wins an award every year for its flagship backup suite, it's because it's almost true. Simpana, in its various in-carnations, has snared five Products of the Year awards, including four golds. That's an impressive feat considering our awards are based on a "what have you done lately" premise that considers the most recent product enhancements rather than a product's longevity.

Simpana 9 builds on the previous version's broad capabilities. If Simpana 8 seemed like a fairly complete suite of data protection apps, CommVault still managed to pack in significantly new functionality. For example, CommVault already offered built-in target data dedupe, but Simpana 9 adds source dedupe so users can deploy the dedupe method that best suits their infrastructures.

Storage managers can now use Simpana 9 to schedule their hardware-based snapshots, bringing yet another data protection technology under the Simpana umbrella with support for more storage systems from more vendors.

Virtual server backup has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for backup admins, but Simpana 9 provides an antidote to virtual machine (VM) backup pain with new virtual server support. Simpana 9 can scan an environment, find unprotected VMs and then add them to an appropriate data protection policy based on their characteristics.

Still considered by many to be the upstart among major enterprise backup apps, Simpana's deep feature list has convinced a lot of data storage managers that a change might be in order. With Simpana 9, even changing from another backup application to Simpana has gotten easier as CommVault's Fast Pass migration facility will transport Symantec Corp. NetBackup and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager environments into its own. CommVault has also updated its licensing scheme; instead of paying option-by-option, all features are now crammed into one package that's licensed by capacity. You can get started with Simpana 9 for as little as $10,000.

One judge's comments summed up why Simpana 9 earns silver this year: "Very advanced product with great features."

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