Commvault extends Pure Storage partnership to Cisco FlashStack

Commvault sees the new converged collaboration between themselves, Cisco and Pure Storage as offering an excellent opportunity for joint channel partners of all three vendors.

Ralph Nimergood, Commvault’s VP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances

Today, at the Cisco Live event in Australia, enterprise backup vendor Commvault is announcing availability of a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) of its Commvault Data Platform and IntelliSnap technology for the Cisco version of Pure Storage’s FlashStack converged infrastructure solution.

“One of the things that we as a company have prided ourselves in is our ability to innovate across all the platforms readily available in the enterprise, with our highly scalable IntelliSnap,” said Ralph Nimergood, Commvault’s VP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances. “This announcement is an example of that.”

The FlashStack integration extends durable relationships that Commvault has with both Cisco and Pure Storage.

“We’ve enjoyed a substantial and enduring relationship with both of those firms,” Nimergood said. “Cisco sees value in taking a product to the partner community that is holistic in nature. They compete against alternative stack architectures from Dell EMC and HPE. We’ve done business together around Cisco UCS and their S series, and have a validated architecture with them, but flash is the hottest topic in the infrastructure space right now. Integrating IntelliSnap into FlashStack brings the whole offer to market complete.”

Commvault and Pure have a relationship around Pure’s flash arrays that has both technology and go-to-market elements.

“When Pure came out with a new generation of flash arrays, one of the things they were missing was the ability to do orchestrated snapshots, and they found the easiest path forward was to work with us and our IntelliSnap,” Nimergood said. “We designed specific SKUs for each Pure model where it was easy for both our partners and Pure to configure and sell this. This created a ‘meet in the channel’ value play for our high-end value resellers who had picked up Pure, and we drove GTM campaigns around it with a fair amount of success. Now with this new relationship, FlashStack will be the center of gravity with Pure.”

Commvault partners who are also certified on Cisco and Pure Storage will be able to sell these converged solutions. Nimergood said that this is not an insubstantial number of their higher end partners.

“Surprisingly, there is quite a large overlap with Pure partners as well as Cisco,” he said.

Commvault has high hopes for this new converged partnership.

“We are really bullish on the Cisco relationship as a whole, because they view us as their enterprise class data protection partner,” Nimergood said. “We think FlashStack will be good for our channel, particularly since our high value partners see this as a great alternative for the Tier One vendors as customers move to data centre modernization. We think it will hit a very important use case and workload.”

Sunil Polepalli, Commvault’s Director of Worldwide Alliances

Sunil Polepalli, Commvault’s Director of Worldwide Alliances, elaborated on why the new converged relationship should be a significant one for the Commvault channel.

“We already have a Cisco-validated design, which means that partners already have the recipe,” he said. “They will be able to put the design together in a few hours, and this will help them sell with confidence.”

Polepalli also emphasized that these multi-vendor deals tend to be lucrative ones.

“By having the three solutions together, for every dollar of Commvault a partner sells, they could sell five to seven dollars of Cisco and Pure, and then services on top,” he stated. “These are juicy deals, especially since adding Commvault to FlashStack is an easy sell. There are also special incentives for our MarketBuilder partners, where they can increase their profits by at least 40 per cent.”

Polepalli said that multi-vendor solutions can sometimes be perilous for partners, because there is generally an amount of co-opetition, with the different vendors trying to tug the partner in their direction. That’s not the case here, however.

“There really is no co-opetition element because we have almost no overlap with Cisco,” he indicated. “One workload that Cisco hasn’t done is data protection. This means that partners don’t have to deal with any type of channel conflict, so they can work confidently with both vendors to win deals.”

One partnering that won’t happen – at least for now – is with the VMware version of the Pure FlashStack offering. At the present time, it’s just Cisco only.