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VMblog Expert Interview: David Ngo Provides a Look into Metallic Only Months After Launch - New SaaS Backup and Recovery

interview metallic ngo

While at Commvault GO back in October of 2019, Commvault launched Metallic, a SaaS-only backup and recovery solution.  This new venture gave them access to new markets and a whole new business model.  So, what's been happening since that launch?  Where are they now?

To find out, VMblog reached out to and spoke with David Ngo, Vice President of Metallic Products and Engineering, Metallic.

VMblog:  To kick things off, can you give us an overview for those who may not yet know what Metallic is and what you offer?

David Ngo:  Metallic delivers companies a no compromise SaaS-delivered backup and recovery solution. By combining powerful Commvault data protection technology with an easy SaaS experience, Metallic delivers enterprise-grade scale, security, and performance in a simple cloud solution.

Created as a startup within Commvault, the Metallic team was given a mandate to create a fit-for-purpose data protection product and experience from the ground up, while leveraging Commvault's powerful core technology. In six months' time we created an entirely new experience and have delivered a new portfolio of backup services that run in the cloud while still giving customers the flexibility to choose their own storage. This could be their own AWS or Azure storage or keeping a copy on an on-premises server for the fastest recovery option.

Metallic offers 20 years of industry-leading technology delivered as a simple SaaS solution. We uniquely provide breadth of offerings, together with depth of capabilities for performance, speed, security, and granular recovery. We offer proven scale and flexibility that others don't, including the option to bring your own storage.

VMblog:  Now that you are 100 days in, what has the reception been like among customers and partners?

Ngo:  Overall, the reception has been really positive. We've seen great success for Metallic across all kinds of customers from small businesses to the enterprise. This reinforced the fact that SaaS products have a broad appeal and a huge demand across all markets.

Since the initial Metallic launch we've also expanded our partner ecosystem by adding two new partners, Zones and Eagle, to our list of existing partners, which includes CDW, Insight and Sirius. We're also continuously innovating the product and offerings themselves. All of this, alongside of hundreds of companies participating in Metallic's free trials, has made for a very busy, but very successful first 100 days!

VMblog:  That's exciting!  We've heard a bit about some of those enhancements and innovations you mentioned, such as support for Office 365.  What can you tell us about that?

Ngo:  Metallic makes it ridiculously easy to keep Office 365 data protected - when those data emergencies inevitably pop up, we've got it covered and can recover what customers need fast. Metallic Office 365 Backup & Recovery goes beyond mailboxes - providing backup & granular recovery of data across Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint - as well as Teams, Project Online and Groups.

In addition to Office 365 support, security additions have been made to what Metallic already offers: end-to-end encryption, anomaly detection and an air gap for backup (by virtue of being SaaS). Now, we're preparing to launch multi-region support, to help customers avoid unintended egress charges and to comply with data sovereignty regulations. Metallic storage already has built-in cross-region replication and includes all charges associated with the transferring data so that customers don't face hidden fees.

Based on customer feedback, we've also added additional guidance to help customers navigate the product and help refine their user experience. We're excited to continue to shape this product. We are building solutions that fill our customer needs - while we can't share specific roadmap details beyond this, we see a big opportunity in SaaS backup for cloud workloads.

Overall, we've had tremendous response from our partners, brought on our first customers, and heard great feedback from customers in trial. Launch partners are generating strong pipeline with Metallic and we're currently rolling out our first joint partner campaigns.

VMblog:  Interesting, so Metallic is hitting the point that you're converting companies that were in the trial phase into paying customers.  As that happens, do you worry that Metallic will cannibalize some of Commvault's business?

Ngo:  The short answer is no, this isn't something that we worry about. It's about customer choice, and we're offering it. Customers may want to consume their backup solution as a SaaS offering, while others may choose on-premises deployment. That doesn't mean cannibalization.

Our vision is to dominate cloud data protection while meeting customers on their own terms. Companies are going to continue to move to cloud and multi-cloud environments, and many will also be using hybrid environments. The next generation of data protection is about providing powerful and flexible solutions that don't require compromising on the technology, whatever environment a company is using for its data.

VMblog:  So with regard to Commvault's products, and the lack of cannibalization, can you tell us the difference between Commvault Complete and Metallic in regards to Office 365 support?

Ngo:  While Commvault offers Office 365 and endpoint protection deployed by customers on their own infrastructure or via an appliance, Metallic is different. It includes an end to end SaaS experience, streamlines feature offerings based on customer feedback, and has a different UI and go to market model. We have our eye on the long term. We want to provide customers with the best, most-sophisticated SaaS backup and recovery solution. This is why we have consolidated all of our SaaS offerings under the Metallic umbrella and will be building a single plan for global expansion.

Enterprise customers with broad, custom environments may be looking for the more customized control that Commvault Complete provides. You do not need to switch to Metallic to fulfill your data protection needs if you are already a Commvault Complete customer. However, if you have a specific requirement for a SaaS-based solution -- to meet your endpoint or Office 365 data protection needs, for example -- Metallic could be the right fit for you.

Again, Commvault is committed to providing customers choice. That means offering our industry-leading technology in many forms to meet different customers' needs. Commvault Complete offers the most holistic and comprehensive solution on the market and has been named a leader by Gartner and Forrester once again this year. 

VMblog:  Commvault has set Metallic up in such a way that the leadership, the offerings and the development of the product itself could all stand on their own.  Is there any consideration to make Metallic a spinoff?

Ngo:  Actually, our experience with Metallic so far has strengthened Commvault's commitment to the venture, and right now, we're solely focused on continuing to grow the business as a division of Commvault. Our research showed that 60% of midmarket companies replaced their backup in the past year, and the top reason was because it required too much manual work. Commvault launched Metallic to help fill that need, and we're seeing it as a crucial and valuable investment that expands Commvault's presence in the market and have no plans to change our current relationship.

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Published Friday, March 13, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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