Simpana 9 on sale in Q3, adds source-based de-duplication

CommVault’s Australian offices are preparing for beta testing of Simpana 9 to begin in August, while also busying themselves with the new task of serving as part of the company’s follow-the-sun support operations.

CommVault’s Simpana 9 will be offered to some customers in the company's beta program in August and will then go on sale in the company's third quarter (October to December) [Note: CommVault had earlier indicated October 5th was the on-sale date, but have requested an alteration to the story as information provided by local representatives was not accurate]. When it does, the new product will add source-based deduplication features for the first time, according to Gerry Sillars, the company’s Vice President and Regional Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Japan.

Sillars added that version 9 of the software will also “expand on records management” and also include numerous new virtualization features.

The new version of the software will also include new hooks to cloud storage providers, a feature Sillars expects will be evolved as service packs emerge for the product.

“We’ll have two or three waves of cloud announcements,” he said, adding that CommVault will change its product release cycle so that it creates a new, full, version of Simpana every two years. Frequent service packs will keep the product current, and the company has already scheduled updates to Simpana 9 for December 2010, and March or April 2011.

Support comes to Sydney

Another innovation for CommVault is the inclusion of its Sydney office in its worldwide support network. The company has recently hired around 15 staff into its support team, recruited a dedicated manager for its services business and split that role from that of another manager dedicated to support.

Level One and Two support is now offered to the region from Sydney, which has become part of a follow-the-sun support operation.

Sillars said the availability of a formal support operation will mean that, from October 1st, the company can offer business-critical support for customers in the region. These services will include what Sillars described as “pre-emptive support” that falls short of managed services but will see the company monitor its customers backup systems and “send a note about a problem along with a knowledge base article on how to address it.” This service costs 10% to 15% more than CommVault’s standard maintenance contracts.

Another new service initiative is “resident service engineers” for large users, a plan that sees CommVault staff work at clients’ premises to bed in its software.

One site where those services could come in handy is the Department of Foreign Affairs and trade, which CommVault won against Tivoli last year. Sillars said he expects a new order from the Department shortly, as it moves into a second phase of its backup refresh project.

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