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CommVault CEO: Industry has shifted to snap-based backups

CommVault CEO Bob Hammer pointed to his company’s strong sales results last quarter as a validation of Simpana 9 released in October and a change in the way organizations approach backup today.

CommVault Tuesday reported revenue of $84 million last quarter, up 18% from last year and 11.2% from the previous quarter. The results were a big jump from two quarters ago when CommVault slumped to $66.3 million in revenue when it missed its projections by a wide margin. CommVault also seems to have gained on market leader Symantec, which last week reported its backup and archiving revenue increased five percent over last year.

While Simpana 9 drew a lot of attention for adding source deduplication to the target dedupe in the previous version, it also leans heavily on replication and snapshot technology to create recovery copies of data without moving the data. These technologies were cited by Gartner in its most recent Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Disk-Based Backup/Recovery that placed CommVault at the head of the leaders group.

“The old backup methodology of managing the backup stream is no longer efficient,” Hammer said. “The backup copy today is your persistent long-term archive copy. The industry has shifted into managing data using snaps and replication as the primary way of managing and moving data. We can seamlessly create a long-term non-corrupt point-in-time copy. The backup business is now a more comprehensive data management business.”

Hammer also said CommVault will not follow Symantec’s lead of selling its backup software on branded appliances. CommVault sells Simpana on hardware from partners such as Dell, and Hammer said he will continue with that strategy.

“We don’t want to get into the hardware business, for a lot of reasons,” he said. “At least not on our own. We will provide our software to partners who embed it and sell it on hardware.”

CommVault’s sales spike last quarter came despite a drop in revenue from its Dell OEM deal. Dell accounts for 20%of CommVault revenue, but it decreased 13% year over year and 10% sequentially last quarter. Hammer said that was in part to a drop in sales to federal government, which make up a large part of its sales through Dell.

As for cloud backup, Hammer said CommVault is seeing large deals through managed service providers (MSPs) while enterprises are taking a slow approach. “But whether enterprises are going to deploy to the cloud yet or not, cloud capability is one of the requirements they’re looking for,” he said.

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