Solving one of the CIO’s most pressing problems: Knowing what data they have across the enterprise with Commvault Activate
Dec 4th, 2018

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Commvault, a recognised global leader in backup, recovery, the cloud and data management across any hybrid environment, recently announced powerful innovation in the quest to improve business outcomes with data-driven insights and actions. With Commvault Activate and its portfolio of applications, customers will be able to merge the knowledge and analysis of their data with actionable use-cases.

With this ability to know their data, customers will increase their potential to “activate” their data for significant returns across areas like improved business decision making, lowered data storage costs, compliance readiness, risk, and other customer critical use cases. The innovation in Commvault Activate solves one of the most vexing challenges facing CIOs today: gaining a complete picture of their data environments. The announcement was made at Commvault GO 2018, the company’s annual customer conference being held in Nashville, Tennessee.

Commvault Activate unleashes a powerful open, dynamic index (the Commvault 4D Index) and embraces artificial intelligence (AI) learning methods that enrich the data context, meaning and understanding across data sources regardless of location or data type. Enterprises can utilise Commvault Activate to discover and gain knowledge about their data across all environments, whether managed by third-party tools, managed with Commvault tools, or not under management at all.

This knowledge can then be used for dashboards and automated policies powered by content-aware actions to expand new use-cases and enable improved decision making and valuable business insight. And, when used with Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery, the enterprise can now blend this data knowledge into the indexed collection of backup and archive data instances providing a fully virtualised data landscape perspective.

Enterprises Cannot Manage What They Don’t Know They Have

The ability to leverage data assets is a foundational component of any company’s competitive strategy. GDPR and other global data privacy compliance regulations have also increased the penalties for poorly managing data, with enterprises facing significant financial and reputational damage for non-compliance.

The realisation of this business value is too often prevented by insufficient knowledge of exactly what data customers have, where it resides and who can access it.  Commvault commissioned research “Measuring IT’s Readiness for Digital Business,” – a survey of 1,200 IT executives and IT personnel in six global business markets –  highlighted this very issue, indicated that more than 60 percent of IT executives and IT personnel think they have access to less than half of their organisations’ data.

This data management and access gap further complicates future success of business, with more than 50 percent of respondents saying that “better data collection and management” and “new tools to analyse increasingly sophisticated data” as essential.

The volumes of data being produced by enterprises continues to increase exponentially as are the number of locations where data is being stored and used. To fully implement data optimisation strategies and make better data management decisions, companies must have:

  • Reliable information about the data stored across the many data silos of their organisation;
  • Mechanisms for effective information governance that incorporate both IT and business leaders into governance decision making processes; and
  • Insights derived from and about their data that can be used to create, implement and automate consistent data policies across their organisation.

“Customers cannot manage what they don’t know they have – this is a growing and vexing challenge for all CIO’s, a challenge that is holding back business innovation, compliance and operations,” said N. Robert Hammer, Commvault’s Chairman, President and CEO. “With data in the cloud, on premises, stored virtually, on mobile devices and everywhere in between – and with data sitting out in business units and not under central management – public and private organisations are missing opportunities to add value, reduce cost, manage risk and simply run better. Now, for the first time, we are enabling organisations to look across their data sources, generate and centralise knowledge about their data, and be able to drive further analysis to assess and understand the value of the data in conjunction with the company’s business requirements. That gives customers the power to make the right decisions and drive action to better manage, use and get value from their data – this is truly data management done differently.”

Commvault Activate Helps Customers Know Their Data

Commvault Activate expands the use of Commvault’s powerful 4D Index which helps customers improve their knowledge of their data assets wherever it is stored. Commvault Activate can be introduced as standalone solution to help customers develop a comprehensive view of their data landscape.

New connections will allow data to be inventoried and indexed from sources such as online file stores, active endpoint devices or new O365 SaaS cloud data stores – data   can now be evaluated together as part of a holistic enterprise-wide view.  That data can be indexed by combining technical metadata with user or business application context, classification/entity rules, and with rich content analysis to produce dynamic perspective which is visualised in a portfolio of out-of-the-box applications featuring flexible, actionable dashboard experiences.

Commvault Activate maps and profiles data sources to enable enterprises to perform the following analysis centrally:

  • Identify redundant, obsolete and other unnecessary data they have stored and backed-up, immediately reducing their on-premises or cloud storage costs.
  • Assess data usage to move infrequently accessed data to less expensive storage, and frequently accessed data to high-performance storage – reducing costs and improving data availability and application performance.
  • Identify pockets of critical, valuable or sensitive data (such as personal data, intellectual property and contracts), enabling them to move this data to storage in a specific country or geographic zones, and implement policies to better protect and secure this data, reducing risks associated with data privacy compliance and cybersecurity.
  • Identify the duplication patterns of files to determine the right strategies to better control this information and derive value from it.
  • Identify data ownership to improve data governance decision making and close gaps in data ownership, reducing data stewardship risks.
  • Assess data not yet protected by Commvault Complete, to help develop appropriate data protection strategies for this data.

“Being able to secure a comprehensive understanding of the data environment is a prerequisite for enterprises seeking to reduce complexity and optimise their data storage,” said George Crump, Founder and Lead Analyst, Storage Switzerland. “Commvault Activate is designed to deliver enterprises this understanding, enabling them to not just lower data management risks and costs, but also make data work for them to improve business outcomes.”

Actionable Insight Possible with Knowledge

Customers leverage the foundational product Commvault Activate to know their data through its powerful mapping and profiling capabilities. Building upon that, Commvault Activate includes a portfolio of applications to empower customers to more quickly and confidently act on their data to optimise resources and spending, accelerate data-centric projects, address compliance, reduce risk, and to also gain more insight and value from their data.

Customers are then able to take action to, for example, retire unneeded data collections; reclaim valuable space; “right-size” and smartly move data into many of the new compelling cloud storage services; secure personal and private information; and be able to comply with “right to be forgotten” requirements in GDPR and GDPR-like compliance regulations. Additionally, customers would be able to benefit from lower storage costs, reduced risk, and improved knowledge on how to use and gain benefit from information.

One such application in the portfolio is focused on helping to automate compliance processes.  The Sensitive Data Governance (SDG) application of the Commvault Activate portfolio simplifies the best practices of assessing and addressing the risks of managing sensitive data based on content at scale, starting with file servers and endpoints. This application enables several critical functions including:

  • Detection and risk scoring of personal and other sensitive data across unstructured data holdings, that can help to drive remediation, validation of manual processes and uncover additional data blind spots.
  • Risk profiling that helps to prioritise risk mitigation plans when faced with data overload.
  • Proactive cleanup of unnecessary personal data, directly from the data source and any backup copies.
  • Review and approval processes to support the joint decision making required by IT and business units in support of investigations and data subject rights (including access and erasure – right to be forgotten).
  • Automated remediation of actions dictated by data subject requests with full audit trails to prove compliance.

A Commitment to Making Data Work for Customers

While Commvault Activate applications can be used as standalone data analysis solutions, the fact that these applications come fully integrated in one of the industry’s leading data management solutions distinguishes them from siloed and one-off applications from niche or legacy competitors. Even though some of these other standalone solutions provide visibility to data environments, customers must then undertake cumbersome and manual processes to connect that data insight to other applications or tools to take action.

Commvault has a better approach: when combining Commvault Activate and Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery, customers will have an integrated, holistic, end-to-end approach for managing data in the digital age. Combining a fully integrated approach to analysis of the data environment with actionable management capabilities — this is data management done differently.

Commvault Activate and the original SDG application are delivered in an environment which offers developers an extensive collection of data management, visualisation, reporting, and business workflow capabilities to customise templates and/or to rapidly develop and publish their own content-oriented applications for use in the Commvault Activate portfolio.

The framework is designed with an open context to make it easy to interoperate with 3rd party content-analytics products or couple into many of the rapidly evolving cognitive cloud AI services, and/or to provide customers the ability to self-develop similar know and active applications of their own.

“The proliferation of electronically-stored information creates difficulties for organisations’ ability to quickly find what matters, a problem addressed by Commvault Activate,” said Vincent Chang, President, Arrosoft Solutions. “The ability to access the insights presented by Commvault Activate and the ability to enrich those insights, presents significant opportunities for customers and partners to drive innovation towards unique outcomes. This is also something that we’d expect to drive growth in Commvault’s ecosystem of partners and solutions.”

Commvault Activate is targeted primarily as a user-oriented portfolio aligned with value-based licensing tied to the user roles who increasingly “activate” and gain the benefits of using automated processes in a well-run governance environment.

Commvault Activate and the Sensitive Data Governance application will be generally available in December 2018. Commvault said it planned to roll out additional applications associated with Commvault Activate in the coming quarters, with a coming focus on data storage optimisation and eDiscovery.

Building on Commvault’s Recently Announced Portfolio

Commvault’s recently announced simplified product portfolio (Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery, Commvault HyperScale Technology, Commvault Orchestration, and Commvault Activate) brings together comprehensive backup and recovery and data management, including storage infrastructure, service delivery orchestration and data governance.

The portfolio also features straightforward pricing and licensing, making it easier for enterprises to implement comprehensive data management strategies for Hybrid IT environments. All of the products in the portfolio incorporate innovative artificial intelligence technologies that automatically learn and adapt to an enterprise’s data management behavior, helping them streamline IT operations while gaining more value from their data.

The new simple product portfolio upends the “status quo” of the backup and recovery market, which in the past has required customers to acquire many point solutions, inclusive of new emerging backup vendors. In addition, it addresses one of the key hybrid IT challenges faced by todays’ global digital enterprises – how to protect and manage data in ways that meet the needs of the business across locations, infrastructures, data types, and at scale. Many point products are tied to legacy infrastructure, creating silos of data that limit enterprises’ agility, lower productivity, and increase risk.

Commvault GO 2018

Commvault GO 2018 is Commvault’s annual customer conference that brings together a global audience of data experts, customers, partners and influencers in the most engaging and entertaining event dedicated to data protection and management. This year’s event is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre in Nashville, Tenn, on October 9-11.

With an inspiring keynote line up including Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” entertainer, Steve Connell and globally recognised brands delivering market and customer insights, data experts cannot fail to be inspired as Commvault GO helps them to Picture the Possibilities of how effective data management addresses their ever-changing data and business needs. More information can be found here:

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