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In 2023 we witnessed the frequent use of native services in Public Cloud with little consideration shown to third-party services that provide more advantageous features at a cost-efficient price point. This observation was across a variety of organisations, all of whom had common use cases such as Protection Services (Backup and Disaster Recovery), through to Security products/services (Network Virtual Appliances – NVA’s, Anti-Virus, Vulnerability Management and SIEM). Ultima as a trusted advisor to our clients will always recommend a service or solution based on a detailed requirements analysis coupled with understanding the organisations desired outcomes in Public Cloud and budget. The aim of this Blog is to highlight how a third-party data and backup service, Commvault Cloud, has reduced monthly OPEX for our customers whilst increasing data and backup integrity plus improved cyber resilience. This value proposition resonates strongly with Heads of Service and C-Level Exec’s given that within Public Cloud in 2024 the two greatest challenges are: Control of Costs (FinOps) and Security.
Over the past six months the Ultima Public Cloud team has delivered numerous Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) comparisons of Commvault Cloud (SaaS-delivered Commvault solution) v Azure Backup (Native Backup Service in Azure). The licensing costs are greater for Commvault Cloud, however due to the storage efficiencies that Commvault provides, the cost to store backups is much lower. In addition, customers achieve an immutable air-gapped backup solution to increase cyber resilience (which provides additional protection against ransomware). In summary, Commvault Cloud offers more advanced security features at a lower price point. To evidence this we refer to our Commvault Cloud Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for several customers. The Backup TCO’s created often deliver six figure savings over three years using this approach. We can use backup in Public Cloud as a simple example that reinforces the value of engaging a Partner such as Ultima. One who can make Public Cloud product/service recommendations based upon understanding the customers business requirements/outcomes whilst building upon our own experience, market expertise and strategic vendor relationships.
Commvault, which has provided data protection for over 27 years, has been integrated with Microsoft’s cloud solution since Azure’s inception in 2010 for a holistic and cloud-native approach. With the release of Metallic, now known as Commvault Cloud SaaS in 2019, Commvault extended its platform to include a SaaS offering built upon the same technology as the core Commvault software offering, enabling the ability to secure and protect data, regardless of the location of that data and of the chosen method of deployment for data protection (on premises, public cloud, or SaaS). Commvault Cloud brings together Commvault’s SaaS solution (Metallic) with a software solution, providing a unified control plane that delivers enhanced capabilities and ease of use at scale. This enables organisations to realise the data security and cyber-recovery capabilities expected from Commvault, without the complexity that normally comes with enterprise-level protection.
Commvault Cloud has provided customers with improved business outcomes combined with powerful business case investment justification. There are many reasons why our customers have chosen to invest in Commvault Cloud and reap the benefits of the SaaS backup service. Below we explore the three most compelling reasons to select Commvault Cloud:
3 Reasons Why Customers use Commvault Cloud:
Reduce OPEX Costs: In our recent experience Ultima has found that Commvault Cloud provides customers with a more cost-effective backup solution in Public Cloud. In most instances our business cases identified significantly reduced backup storage cost opportunities with savings of up to 30-40% across a three-year period. Commvault Cloud can offer cost efficiency through reduced IT footprint, reduction in testing, and increased FTE efficiency. In addition, within Public Cloud the Commvault Cloud service removes ingress, egress, and restoration charges.
In November 2023, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) released a report entitled ‘Analysing the Economic Benefits of Cyber Resilience with Commvault Cloud’. The report discovered that not only can Commvault Cloud deliver lower bottom-line cost when compared to both legacy and competitive cloud services, but it can also deliver a level of streamlining, consolidation, and effectiveness that enables focus and funding to be shifted above the line to revenue-producing activities.
ESG stated that ‘The Commvault customers interviewed for this analysis have annual revenues ranging from $1.2 billion USD to $23 billion USD and are in various industries, including industrial manufacturing, construction, healthcare equipment and supplies, chemical/gas production, energy, healthcare device manufacturing, construction supplies wholesale, construction supplies retail, IT consulting, logistics, defence consulting, healthcare practice support, and government consulting. While each use scenario is unique, ESG found the benefits shown in the model to scale across organizations of all sizes analysed in a consistent and linear fashion. For example, based on the model and customer interviews, a 1,000-person company with five locations can realize $604K in recovered IT FTE time “and up to 40% reduction in storage costs over three years”.
Based on our own experience and the extensive research conducted by ESG, it can be concluded that Commvault Cloud drives cost efficiencies with a lower total cost of ownership across the period of investment.
Security for Backups & Cyber Resilience Features: Cloud security is assuming greater importance due to the evolving threat landscape. Basic security hygiene, such as multifactor authentication and applying zero trust principles, and protecting data, still protect against 99% of attacks (Source: Microsoft – Digital Defence Report 2023). Therefore, ensuring the implementation of these fundamental security principles should be a top priority before addressing additional security gaps. This research from Microsoft illustrates that every decision made in Public Cloud needs to be done so with awareness to security requirements and potential threats. Therefore, achieving secure backups with inherent cyber resilience is a key priority. Securing and defending your data is essential to the rapid recovery of clean backups. Businesses must be vigilant and take a proactive, multilayered approach. That means actively defending your data and its recoverability across a broad range of production and backup workloads and environments.
Commvault Cloud delivers proven, cyber-resilient data protection for unrivalled business continuity. Commvault Cloud, powered by Metallic AI is focused on enabling cyber resilience—the industry’s first platform for true cloud data security that empowers businesses to secure data, predict risks, minimise damage, and rapidly recover. There are many elements to increased cyber resilience, in the next paragraph we highlight how Commvault Cloud provides capabilities to protect against Ransomware threats.
Ransomware detection: Going beyond data validation, Commvault provides insights into suspicious and changed files with layered anomaly detection, honeypots, threat analysis, and file data analysis.
- Anomaly detection looks for suspicious behaviour and activity within the backup data.
- Commvault Cloud Threat Scan detects malicious content. It performs a deep scan of the backup content, leveraging available scanning/antivirus tools to identify malware and files that have been encrypted, corrupted, or significantly changed so you can recover clean data and avoid file reinfection. This capability is scheduled to be available in the SaaS Backup Service from late Feb 2024.
- Threat Scan Predict finds AI-driven ransomware to predict threats before they infect backups. This is the capability to detect polymorphic malware, for discovery of zero-day attacks.
- Honeypots and file anomaly detection to actively detect threats in the live environment.
- Commvault Cloud Threatwise provides industry-unique early-warning threat detection technology to surface advanced cyber threats in production environments.
Data and Backup Immutability: Customers are now acutely aware of emerging cyber threats and potential exposure across different cyber threat vectors. With reference to data and backups we are increasingly being asked for the provision of a robust ‘Air Gap’ backup solution for an extra layer of data security. The threat is very real as evidenced by Cybersecurity Ventures who predicts that Ransomware will cost its victims around $265 billion (USD) annually by 2031, with a new attack (on a consumer or business) every 2 seconds as ransomware perpetrators progressively refine their malware payloads and related extortion activities. Therefore, with an ever-increasing and emerging threat landscape it is imperative that an organisations data and backups are fully secure.
Best cyber resilience practices revolve around separating backup copies from source environments to minimize the threat of data loss or cyber breach.
Commvault Cloud SaaS Backup provides backup immutability provision within the service. This mitigates ransomware risk, keep data compliant, and enables rapidly recovery with integrated cloud storage from Commvault. Whilst it’s worth noting that the backup of Azure workloads with Commvault Cloud SaaS, can only store data within Azure, with either customer own storage, or Commvault Air Gap Protect. Air Gap Protect is air-gapped and immutable due to the storage account being hosted within the Commvault Azure subscription, alongside the platform. No access credentials are visible within the Commvault SaaS console, preventing any lateral movement to the Commvault Air Gap protect. Therefore, when leveraging the value of Commvault Cloud SaaS Backup customers have peace of mind around the integrity and security of their data and backups plus when required the recoverability of their data.
The purpose of this short Blog on Commvault Cloud is not only to highlight the industry’s best data security but also to share the positive impact the service has had on our customers who have questioned and reviewed their data and backup provision above native public cloud services with Ultima. We invest heavily in our strategic partners whilst being acutely aware of challenges faced by our clients, decreasing operational expenditure and the need to improve security/cyber resilience. The Commvault Cloud proposition is worth consideration, especially as Commvault are a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader 12 Years running whilst being the only FedRAMP High In Process data protection platform
If you want to discover how Commvault Cloud can reduce your OPEX costs and improve Cyber Resilience for your data and backups, please get in touch.