Commvault looks to set data protection gold standard through ScaleProtect with Cisco UCS

With ScaleProtect, Commvault looks to create a branding that has been as successful as the FlexPod brand has been for Cisco and NetApp.

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

Data protection vendor Commvault has made an important follow-up announcement to last week’s one involving new HyperScale data infrastructure offerings designed to disrupt the backup and recovery market, and available as both a reference architecture and appliance for seven major OEMs. Now they are announcing an extension of that strategy with one of them, long-time partner Cisco. They are branding it as ScaleProtect with Cisco UCS.

“This is really a combination of a deeper technology integration and a much deeper and aligned go-to- market, with the branding of our Commvault HyperScale Software with Cisco UCS,” said Ralph Nimergood, Commvault’s VP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances.

Nimergood compared the new offering combining the HyperScale Software with Cisco UCS to a layered cake.

“At the foundation layer is our HyperScale Software, with its buy-as-you-grow advantages, scale-out elasticity, and flexibility to remove siloed secondary pools and put them into a grid,” Nimergood said. “We delivered this last week, and validated it across seven providers [Cisco; Dell EMC;  Fujitsu; HPE; Huawei, and Super Micro]. That’s the first layer.”

Nimergood said that with Cisco specifically, they are building a couple of other layers on the cake.

“We are coupling this with two things we will bring to life in the market,” he said. “ScaleProtect with Cisco UCS  is a differentiated and unique branding for our Cisco-specific HyperScale integration. We think that this will identify ScaleProtect as the gold standard for integrated scale-out data protection solutions.”

That kind of branding matters, Nimergood emphasized.

“It was another time, and a different kind of product, but we see this as having the same impact as  FlexPod, as the branded converged infrastructure offering between Cisco and NetApp,” he said. “It created a strong branding and we think ScaleProtect with Cisco UCS will accomplish the same thing.”

The top layer is putting it on Cisco’s price list.

“That’s the nice bow on it – making it easy to sell,” Nimergood stated. “It is available on the Cisco Global Price List under their SolutionPlus program. So now both enterprise and midmarket VAR practices will be able to seamlessly provide this to their customer base.”

Nimergood also indicated that Commvault is building in another layer of integration with storage pools in their S3260 storage family, and is also building in a road map for integration into Cisco’s UCS Manager.

Like the initial HyperScale announcement last week, Nimergood described the ScaleProtect with Cisco announcement as a hugely disruptive one which will be welcomed by Commvault and Cisco’s joint channel partners.

“We think this will be a game-changer for our partner ecosystem, a tremendous wealth creation engine for them, solving customer needs consolidating secondary storage pools,” Nimergood stressed. “Our HyperScale software will solve a lot of customer problems.”

Cisco will take the first call on support, with Commvault serving as what Nimergood called the warm handoff for Tier 2 issues relating to software.

Commvault/Cisco partners will have access to additional training for this, but no separate certification is needed to sell it.

“Additional training for HyperScale has just been walled out as part of our partner FY 18, and there will be additional enablement on the Cisco side,” Nimergood said. “They won’t need a separate certification to sell this though, as we will leverage ones that already exist.”

So will other vendors get the same additional layers of the cake in the future? Nimergood was cautious in answering that one.

“The Cisco relationship is a unique and special one for us,” he said. “We also continue to explore the market, and will try to be responsive to customer needs by bringing additional value to the data protection market. We are a student of the market and will always try and be responsive to market needs.”