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NetApp, CommVault forge OEM deal around SnapProtect, tape

NetApp and CommVault today said they have signed an OEM deal that lets NetApp sell and brand CommVault’s SnapProtect to move replicated data to tape.

SnapProtect is part of CommVault’s Simpana 9. It handles Simpana’s reporting, scheduling, indexing and cataloging of array-based snapshots. SnapProtect uses a unified catalog to track backups across disk and tape while NetApp’s SnapVault only handles disk-to-disk replication.

Along with extending SnapMirror’s capabilities to tape, NetApp’s SnapProtect can manage its SnapMirror replication policies. NetApp is pricing SnapProtect based on storage capacity and the number of controllers used. NetApp is also licensing and trademarking the SnapProtect name, which will no longer be used by  CommVault in future releases of Simpana.

“When we add Simpana 9 management capabilities to SnapVault and SnapMirror, it lets us do workflow management for disk-to-disk-to-tape backup,” NetApp director of data protection solutions Mark Welke said. “It also gives us the full catalog capability that goes with it. We did not have a seamless solution for tape.”

Welke said SnapProtect will let NetApp customers create local snapshots and restore data from primary storage. “We’ll move less data [through CommVault’s deduplication] and move it faster,” he said.

CommVault and Syncsort are the only backup software vendors that can manage NetApp snapshots, Welke added.

Welke and CommVault SVP of business development Dave West said the deal is not exclusive. That means CommVault can strike similar deals with other area vendors (it has OEM relationships with Dell and Hitachi Data Systems) and NetApp can add other software partners. But it’s interesting that NetApp chose CommVault as its partner here instead of backup software market leader Symantec.

“The state of data protection is broken,” West said. “We’re trying to solve problems associated with legacy solutions. Unless you integrate with array-based technologies, you won’t be able to solve real data protection problems.”

The deal is seen as a potentially significant sales boost for NetApp, which often wins high marks for its technology but holds a small piece of the backup market share. Nearly one-quarter of CommVault’s revenue comes from its OEM deal with Dell, but it is trying to expand its partnerships with array vendors. CommVault and Hewlett-Packard have been working closely in Europe, and CommVault also has OEM deals with Fujitsu and Bull.

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