Commvault, a data protection leader, can be too big and too expensive for the smaller shops. But SMBs may find Commvault worth another look with the release of Simpana Express, a new entrant into the small-market backup software game.
Commvault Simpana consistently scores very well in Info-Tech reviews. In recent Vendor Landscapes on Virtual Backup Software, Backup Software for Heterogeneous Environments, and Windows/Linux Backup for SMEs, it hit a perfect three for three, scoring as Champion in each.* Simpana is a safe bet for most use cases and is feature-rich enough that it will generally meet a range of technical requirements.
However, our clients are often a bit more wary. They’ve heard good things, but they have two primary reservations:
- Complexity. Commvault offers such a comprehensive product that customers fear there are too many moving parts for an IT generalist to handle alone. One client we spoke to who had experience with Commvault reported that he felt he needed a dedicated team member just to handle the software. This can be a significant deterrent to personnel-strapped IT shops, many of which are trying to reduce the operational effort required by backup processes.
- Cost. This might be more by reputation than in fact, but IT professionals in small- to mid-sized organizations perceive Commvault as being firmly ensconced in the upper mid-market. As a result, they assume that Simpana is priced beyond their means.
Simpana Express attempts to alleviate these concerns. The solution is designed for organizations with fewer than 100 employees. It comes preconfigured for easier deployment and at a more accessible price point than the full enterprise edition of the software.
It’s also designed to be scalable. Users can upgrade to the Enterprise version of Simpana as their requirements grow, with zero impact on existing data or backup configuration. It ticks a lot of the boxes for smaller organizations who like what Commvault has to say but balk at the cost and level of management effort involved.
From a strategy standpoint, it is clear that Commvault is firing a shot across the bow of solutions like Symantec’s Backup Exec. A seamless transition from Simpana Express to Simpana 10 is a big value proposition for growing organization who are nervous about moving from Backup Exec to NetBackup one day down the road. We’ve spoken to several organizations who are outgrowing Backup Exec but are reluctant to pull the trigger on the more expensive NetBackup. By lowering the cost of entry, Commvault may succeed in luring these customers away from Symantec with Simpana’s unified codebase and migration tools.
Whether this will be enough to overcome Commvault’s reputation as a firmly entrenched mid-market vendor remains to be seen, but smaller shops may want to give Simpana Express’s free 30-day trial a chance.
* These reports were published just before the release of Simpana 10 and may not accurately reflect the current product.