Microsoft Makes Second Equity Investment in CommVault

Microsoft Corp. extended its alliance with CommVault Systems Inc. to provide customers with data protection and data management solutions for enterprise computing environments. The agreement includes a second round of equity investment from Redmond, as well.

CommVault ( officials say the alliance will accelerate the deployment of the recently announced CommVault Galaxy storage management suite on Windows 2000.

"Data and storage management have never been more important to our customers," said Brian Ball, general manager of enterprise server products at Microsoft (, in a statement.

CommVault Galaxy is a relatively new data protection product, released in February. It is designed to provide heterogeneous storage and data management from a Windows platform.

Bob Hammer, CommVault’s CEO, says the increasing popularity of new data-centric computing models such as NAS and SAN makes the products especially important.

The benefits of Galaxy include data protection, advanced data management, and faster access to business critical data through Galaxy's tight integration with Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server. For example, Exchange 5.5 data can be backed up today from either Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000-based servers and recalled later for use in Exchange 2000.

Hammer says even though Galaxy was built from the ground up for Windows NT/2000, it can manage storage heterogeneously, as well.

"We were surprised at how receptive Microsoft was to Galaxy’s heterogeneity," he says.

The agreement includes joint marketing and technical cooperation. CommVault, for instance, has access to Microsoft’s development and engineering teams to help the Galaxy product work with Windows operating systems.

"They’re helping us to communicate to their user base about CommVault as a vendor," Hammer says. "That’s really important to us because we are in an extremely competitive market."

Steve Widen, a storage analyst at market research firm IDC (, says the teaming with Microsoft, and the direct marketing and engineering support that goes along with it, can help validate CommVault as a key player in the storage management industry.