Commvault Cloud shifts to cyber resilience

Commvault Cloud shifts to cyber resilience

Commvault is well known for backup solutions, but increasingly wants to play a role in cyber resilience. It thus responds to new challenges and introduced Commvault Cloud. We attended an event in the Netherlands, where “the biggest launch in 26 years” took place to support companies on their way to cyber resilience.

Backups have become much more important in recent years due to the growth of cybercrime. The chance of data loss due to a cyber attack is immense today. Commvault has responded to that reality in recent years. Now, the backup vendor speaks very emphatically about cyber resilience to underscore that the technology provides a foundation against digital threats. Chief Product Officer Rajiv Kottomtharayil explicitly emphasises that Commvault is not a security company, as there are other specialized tools for that (which Commvault integrates with). The result is the new Commvault Cloud.

Two worlds come together, new architecture

With Commvault Cloud, two of Commvault’s software solutions come together. First is the on-premises product that has been around for quite some time. Second, the Metallic SaaS product comes to the new platform. By bringing those worlds together, companies no longer have to switch between two software solutions for protecting data. The stepping stone to this Commvault Cloud was already underway in 2019 when Commvault launched Metallic. That backup solution improved, and Commvault learned lessons and now feels ready to unite two worlds.

Also read: Commvault Cloud unifies data protection, security and recovery

As those two worlds come together, Commvault immediately updates familiar features and adds new ones. Before we dive into that, however, it’s helpful to look at the architecture of the Commvault Cloud. Indeed, according to Kottomtharayil, the platform architecture makes Commvault a unique solution. This is because of the product’s segmentation into three components. That segmentation led to the actual storage, a data plane and a control plane. In the image below, Kottomtharayil outlines what Commvault achieves with that segmentation.

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Kottomtharayil says that this architecture was chosen when developing the software because of the principles Commvault stands for. By separating the control plane from the data plane, data is secure, regardless of the storage platform.

Commvault is also stepping up its game with AI

Looking next at the functionality of Commvault Cloud, we see that the new platform pays full attention to AI. That is nothing new in the Commvault platform; it already had functionality for detecting risk and improving recovery with Metallic AI. However, given the massive addition of additional generative AI to IT solutions over the past 12 months, some extra is expected from Commvault. The answer is Arlie, the copilot designed to make life simpler for backup and infrastructure administrators. The copilot is based on an integration with Azure OpenAI.

Users can chat with Arlie to request analytics on the status of their cyber resilience, for example. However, they can also ask Arlie to build an integration or code. Something like this is helpful if an administrator wants to validate SLAs for recovery work and errors occur. Having the copilot write code can make that happen faster.

Commvault also wants to make its platform easier by letting Arlie guide users through tasks. To do this, the copilot supports configuring and customizing the Commvault Cloud. By asking how to do something, Arlie responds with a walkthrough. In doing so, the copilot also shows screenshots to demonstrate visually how to do something.

In addition to Arlie, the Commvault Cloud has other AI functionality to increase cyber resilience. Commvault describes these as “AI to fight AI.” The idea is that cybercriminals are now using AI in abundance to refine ransomware techniques. Through AI, hackers execute attacks that are very difficult to detect by traditional techniques. With AI to fight AI, zero-days that have already affected backup data can be detected so that data can be quarantined quickly. In recovery, Commvault then focuses on preventing reinfection.

Cleanroom Recovery and Cloudburst Recovery

This also brings us to a point where the Commvault Cloud is paying close attention to increasing cyber resilience: more robust recovery options. This is reflected on the platform with Cleanroom Recovery. The environment is built specifically for the moments after a cyberattack. A clean backup and recovery environment is crucial then. Cleanroom Recovery introduces an isolated environment where data is protected from persistent cyber threats. Therefore, when the recovery is done, the data is undoubtedly malware-free.

Kottomtharayil points out that the power of the cloud is a significant advantage in this type of recovery. This should allow for quick data recovery so that an affected business can get back up and running quickly and limit downtime.

Another way to speed up recovery processes and make them more efficient is to enable Cloudburst Recovery. With this, Commvault wants to address a problem it sees in the market. Indeed, according to the backup vendor, other recovery solutions on the market are limited by their ability to recover a portion of the data. Cloudburst Recovery should address that limitation thanks to automation with Infrastructure as Code and leveraging the scaling capabilities of the cloud. This should make it possible to recover and restore data sets to any location, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Licensing model

Finally, at launch, Commvault chooses a licensing model where companies can choose different options. Commvault divides them into Foundational Protection, Autonomous Recovery and Cyber Resilience. With the first option, companies get the minimum Commvault Cloud functionality. Autonomous Recovery is slightly more comprehensive, while Cyber Resilience is on the high end. In a presentation, Kottomtharayil also shared how the options differ.

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There is another Commvault Cloud option called Platinum Resilience. With this option, companies purchase a fully managed service that, in Commvault’s view, offers the best end-to-end cyber resilience. This includes all functionality around backup and recovery, automation, testing, reporting and auditing. It also gives companies access to a team to help with configuration, validation and recovery. Commvault is so confident about the Platinum option that it provides a Commvault Protection Warranty.

The path to cyber resilience

With the introduction of Commvault Cloud, Commvault has taken an essential step toward strengthening enterprise cyber resilience. It will move to make the platform widely available to customers with an update in December. Then, they will access the integrated platform that combines the former on-premises and SaaS products. The next step should come in early 2024 when the Platinum Resilience option becomes fully available. All in all, Commvault will continue to take steps to increase enterprise cyber resilience.