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Commvault IntelliSnap Technology Solution Overview


Massive data growth and shrinking application recovery windows are creating a huge challenge for IT administrators. Legacy backup models can't cope with multi-terabyte applications. However, by leveraging a modern approach to data protection that uses your current disk array snapshot technology, you can leave your recovery problems behind.

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The amount of data managed by IT departments continues to accelerate. This growth and the need for better availability of business-critical data are forcing application owners, storage managers and IT organizations to look at new methods for enhancing protection and recovery. Many have turned to native array-based snapshot technologies, which combine frequent recovery points and minimum operational disruption, to improve RPOs and RTOs within the storage system. However, users have discovered that snapshot management varies significantly by storage platform and often results in additional complexity and risk. Current array-based tools often:

  • Require multiple management points and scripting that lead to excess operational costs
  • Are not application-aware
  • Cannot provide granular recovery capability

These problems of management complexity and inefficiency are only compounded in heterogeneous storage environments, as each array type has its own tools.

Commvault is helping to modernize application protection and recovery by extending its software architecture to eliminate the chaos of multiple tools and processes for manually managing array-based snapshots and recovery. Commvault IntelliSnap® software offers an innovative, integrated and elegant approach to snapshot management that eliminates risk, improves business agility and increases efficiency.

IntelliSnap software is a lightweight solution that simplifies creating, tracking and managing application-aware hardware snapshots for physical and virtual environments across the industry's broadest compatibility matrix of heterogeneous storage arrays without custom scripting. Its intuitive interface enables point-and-click recovery of applications, virtual servers, files and messages, replacing multiple tools and manual scripting with an automated, application-aware, policy-based approach to leveraging hardware snapshots. The fast, granular and consistent recovery of data in physical and virtual environments minimizes downtime, enhances business productivity and frees up IT resources to focus on other priorities.

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Rapid data growth and expanding virtual server deployments are creating massive amounts of data that complicate traditional protection and recovery methods.

Applications, databases, email stores and file systems have simply grown beyond the ability of traditional methods to provide adequate recovery. Aggressive service levels require frequent data copies for recovery, yet traditional streaming methods, and lack of a granular view into snapshot data, cannot keep pace with critical business needs. These issues are challenging organizations of every size. New approaches are needed to enhance protection and improve recovery performance, manageability and reliability — without adding significant cost.

Many organizations are augmenting their backup and recovery software with array-based snapshot technologies from vendors such as DataCore, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HDS, HP, Huawei, IBM, INFINIDAT, Nimble Storage, NetApp, Oracle and Pure Storage. The reason often cited is that snapshots help improve RPOs and RTOs by allowing for more frequent copies and faster restores. However, daily operations become a challenge because snapshot scripting and management is complex. This is especially the case in environments where more than one type of storage array is present. Lastly, recovery from snapshots is most often done at the whole snapshot or VM level. If you don't have the ability to look into the contents of a snapshot without having to remount, revert or spin up a whole VM and retrieve the individual file, message or table, then the full speed and ease of recovery promised by snapshots cannot be realized.

Commvault understands the challenges of enhancing protection and recovery by leveraging the snapshot technology available in today's storage arrays.

Integrating array-based snapshot technologies with the overall data protection approach improves manageability, recovery and protection. By making intuitive, single console management of application-aware snapshots across a broad list of heterogeneous storage arrays a key focus of the Commvault software platform and modern approach to data management for years, we have built a robust, proven solution for enhancing application and VM recovery.

Commvault Snapshot Management Technology: Capabilities and Benefits

Commvault streamlines snapshot management and exponentially accelerates data protection and recovery operations.

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Commvault offers IntelliSnap technology as a way to realize the value that snapshots can bring in augmenting protection and recovery and to dramatically improve the ability to meet broader service level commitments without the complexity of multiple tools.

By automating and integrating application intelligence with the array snapshot abilities, IntelliSnap technology is able to reach through the application and file systems into the storage array and discover volume/disk configurations for the snapshot operations and coordinate these operations with proper application quiesce — minimizing administrative configuration and eliminating any scripting requirements — across multiple, disparate storage systems through a single console. When a scheduled protection job for the defined application runs, the source system quiesces the selected applications and automatically creates a set of persistent snapshots within the production storage system. With a confirmation of the successful snapshot creation, the production host returns to full production-side operations. This allows a consistent data image to be created in minutes with RPOs aligning with the frequency of schedule.

For the second half of the protection job, the snapshot is either mounted to a proxy server or back to the production host for indexing the contents of the snapshots. Unlike hardware-based snap approaches, IntelliSnap technology extends beyond simply creating or deleting snapshots. It blends the speed and efficiency of array snapshots directly into the recovery process — offering full system recovery or single file, message or object restore. Once the content-aware indexing completes, the snapshot is retained in the array as a persistent recovery copy to provide the rapid recovery option to revert or restore the data volumes.

Commvault's unified approach allows you to use a single management console to create and recover snapshot copies in a heterogeneous mix of leading storage arrays without customization or scripting. Data is application-consistent and can be recovered directly and quickly to the production system with minimal administrator intervention.

FIGURE 1: Commvault Intellisnap Technology



  • Integration with leading array-based snapshot technologies to create application-consistent recovery copies with minimal production impact.
  • Offline data mining tools are included for granular recovery of files, messages and database objects from snapshots.
  • Available add-on capabilities to back up data from snapshots to disk, tape or cloud and for host-based replication to another storage array.
  • Single console manages and automates hardware snapshots across the industry's broadest coverage of storage arrays without custom scripting, including DataCore, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HDS, HP, Huawei, IBM, INFINIDAT, Nimble Storage, NetApp, Oracle and Pure Storage.
  • Manage, create, index and recover data on hardware snapshots.


  • Centralized, Unified Management Control — Integration with array-based snapshot technologies enables you to unify protection and recovery operations across storage systems, applications, virtual environments and locations through a single console.
  • Eliminate Manual Processes — Utilizes Commvault software's automated, policy-based approach to eliminate manual processes, and their inherent costs and inefficiencies, for creating and aging of application-aware snapshots.
  • Application-Aware — Ensures coherent data handling for leading applications, file systems and hypervisors.
  • Meet Recovery SLAs — Quickly find and recover individual files using federated search across a collection of indexed snapshots, recover individual messages and objects or rapidly restore entire file systems and databases within moments of failure, without administrator intervention.
  • Future-Ready — Easily upgrade to all the features of the Commvault platform, including backup, replication, archive, eDiscovery, search and global deduplication, when you are ready.


  • Confidently use array-based snapshots to create multiple tiers of recovery copies with different retention settings, based on SLA and business requirements.
  • Improve data availability and business productivity with whole volume or granular and consistent recovery of applications, files, objects and messages across physical and virtual environments.
  • Augment protection for growing mission-critical data stores with minimal impact on production systems.
  • Virtualize fearlessly using hardware snapshot protection and recovery to scale VM environments with ease. Protect up to hundreds of VMs in minutes to increase business uptime.
  • Enhance productivity, reduce costs and redeploy resources to other value-add priorities by eliminating multiple solutions and manual processes.
  • Increase hardware choice and extend the value of your storage investments by automating snapshots across an industry-wide selection of storage arrays.
  • Keep your business running by quickly finding and recovering individual files, objects and messages from indexed snapshots.
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Commvault's modern approach unlocks the power of native hardware snapshots that organizations have already invested in, or plan to acquire, while improving recovery — across applications, VMs and multiple, disparate hardware arrays. Commvault IntelliSnap technology delivers faster and more granular application-aware data recovery performance with less effort, complexity and cost. Administrators can select from full application recovery or granular object recovery, all without the manual steps traditionally needed to make the data available to the application, database or file system.

With the downtime of business-critical applications kept to a minimum, organizations increase productivity and reap the benefits of rapid snapshot-based protection and recovery. Management complexity is reduced while less time and fewer resources are required to oversee snapshot activities or to manage existing storage systems. This, in turn, enables headcount to be redeployed to other value-added activities and shrinks the impact of application recovery on IT budgets. Plus, with a single solution that spans across a very broad selection of storage arrays, you have the flexibility to pick the storage platform that best meets your needs without the pain or uncertainty of having to purchase and learn new snapshot tools. The Commvault IntelliSnap lightweight solution is an innovative, integrated and elegant approach to snapshot management that eliminates risk, improves business agility and increases efficiency.

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Commvault IntelliSnap technology can be easily and quickly upgraded to the full Commvault software platform when you are ready to take advantage of those capabilities. Commvault software is a single, efficient, scalable platform that supports a complete range of data management functions. Offering an expandable range of application modules, Commvault software provides multiple backup and recovery options; a flexible IT infrastructure for data protection across physical and virtual servers; and fast, cost-effective disaster recovery to ensure business continuity. Commvault software includes data archiving, eDiscovery and search, source-side and global deduplication, backup and recovery, reporting and resource management, and replication and snapshot management. When used together, these capabilities deliver the unique and compelling benefits of a holistic approach to modern data and information management — and it's easy to deploy and manage because it's built on a single platform and code base, and controlled through a single console.

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Commvault software provides a single console from which to easily manage all aspects of data protection, archive management, recovery management and replication of physical and virtual servers. Benefits of Commvault software include:

  • Simplifies and expands data protection recovery options
  • Facilitates implementation of tiered storage
  • Increases application and data availability
  • Enables cost-effective, consolidated backup of virtual servers
  • Improves backup efficiency and reliability
  • Enables hot backups of virtual machines
  • Shares storage for backup and archiving across physical and virtual servers
  • Provides one interface to learn for data management

Commvault IntelliSnap technology delivers faster and more granular application-aware data recovery performance with less effort, complexity and cost.

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Learn more about how Commvault IntelliSnap® can transform your organization's snapshot management efforts.