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Commvault Metallic expansion includes Salesforce and on-premises

Commvault's Metallic backup now covers Salesforce, Microsoft Teams and other workloads. The vendor's investment in recurring revenue has led to its best fiscal quarter ever.

Commvault expanded its Metallic backup-as-a-service platform into Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Active Directory, Oracle databases and Commvault's HyperScale X appliance.

Metallic's Salesforce backup offering protects Sales, Service and Financial clouds in Salesforce. It uses APIs to capture and restore Salesforce data and gives customers unlimited storage and retention for the backup copies. Similar to other third-party data protection vendors such as Druva and Odaseva, Metallic's service provides faster and more reliable data recovery than Salesforce's native tools. When the Salesforce Data Recovery service ended in June 2020, the platform provider recommended its customers turn to third parties to protect their Salesforce data.

Metallic's new Microsoft Teams recovery launched this week is an expansion of its Office 365 backup capabilities. Metallic Office 365 could be used to back up Teams data before, but customers would have to restore backup data to a different Teams environment. The service can now do in-place, in-interface restores. Metallic general manager Manoj Nair described it as the difference between having the blueprints to rebuild a copy versus fully reverting Teams conversations back to an earlier state within the application.

When Metallic first launched in October 2019, its portfolio consisted of three products: Core backup, Office 365 backup and endpoint backup. The Core backup offering has since split into more granular products for protecting VMs and Kubernetes, databases and file and object. Commvault also launched Metallic Cloud Storage Service in October 2020. With the new Salesforce backup, Metallic's portfolio has reached seven products.

With Salesforce and Office 365 backup, Metallic covers the two most popular SaaS applications. Nair said this is a continuation of Commvault's strategy of catering to customers who want SaaS backup for their SaaS apps. Adding Salesforce protection was a logical execution of that strategy, but Nair also said the COVID-19 pandemic led to rapid Microsoft Teams adoption, which prompted Metallic's Teams improvements.

The much larger strategy for Commvault, according to Nair, is to have Metallic become the singular SaaS platform for protecting all customers' data sources, rather than having separate backup products for different workloads. Metallic's database protection product previously protected Microsoft SQL and SAP HANA. Nair said this update's expansion into Oracle databases and Microsoft Active Directory expands coverage into the areas customers asked for. He said he is monitoring demand, and the product could possibly expand into cloud and NoSQL databases.

screenshot of Commvault Metallic dashboard
Commvault added Salesforce backup to Metallic.

Metallic's expansion into Commvault HyperScale X appliances is a bid to bring its SaaS backup capabilities into on-premises environments. This update added an "edge mode" that turns Commvault's HyperScale X scale-out appliance into a backup target while Metallic software handles backup operations. This is aimed at customers who want local backup at the edge and don't already have secondary storage there. HyperScale X appliances are only sold on a subscription basis, so this setup would allow on-premises backup storage without an upfront cost.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget, said Metallic's expansion into Salesforce and new databases is the right strategy for the vendor, as it is going after what customers want. COVID-19 has driven more organizations to adopt cloud and SaaS. As businesses go through this IT modernization and transformation, the best thing for Metallic and other vendors to do is cover a wide range of environments and offer flexible methods to deploy data protection.

"I think Metallic is expanding in the right direction. It's focused on supporting the modern enterprise in very complex times," Bertrand said.

Commvault's Metallic investment pays off

Commvault this week also reported its best financial quarter ever during the Commvault FutureReady Virtual Investor Event. Its total revenue of $188 million represented a 7% year-over-year increase, and its total software and products revenue of $88.6 million represented a 16% year-over-year increase. Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR), which is the value of all active contracts, grew to $507 million, an increase of 11%.

Commvault CFO Brian Carolan said before fiscal year 2018, less than 10% of Commvault's revenue was recurring. Today, recurring revenue makes up 58% of the company's total software revenue. Carolan said, "This was a gratifying quarter for us," as it represented the vendor's investments into Metallic, HyperScale X and other sources of recurring revenue bearing fruit.

Commvault CEO Sanjay Mirchandani said 40% of Metallic customers were new to Commvault, which he  predicted will lead to other purchases and opportunities in the future. He attributed this figure to Metallic's products being granular and easy to consume for customers.

"CIOs are concerned about digital transformation. Our portfolio is aligned to that journey," Mirchandani said during the virtual event.

Bertrand said Commvault's good quarter was a result of good planning and execution that he's been watching unfold since Mirchandani joined in February 2019. Mirchandani led the Hedvig acquisition and Metallic's launch, and his strategy paid off a little under two years later. Bertrand added that COVID-19 and the resulting cloud and SaaS adoption were certainly a factor, but he considered Commvault's successful quarter due to skill more than luck.

"It's a direct reflection of his leadership," Bertrand said of Mirchandani's success with Commvault.

Now that Metallic has reached what Bertrand described as "a comfortable critical mass of coverage," he believes the next opportunity will lie in use cases beyond data protection -- something Commvault had already been building toward. Bertrand said he wouldn't be surprised to see Metallic products focused on e-discovery, compliance and data life cycle management coming soon.

Johnny Yu covers enterprise data protection news for TechTarget's Storage sites SearchDataBackup and SearchDisasterRecovery. Before joining TechTarget in June 2018, he wrote for USA Today's consumer product review site, Reviewed.com.

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