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CommVault Tutorial

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by Putcha Vaishnavi
Last modified: January 7th 2021

Commvault is an organization-level software data platform. It has some modules to restore, archive, back up, duplicate, search, and replicate data. This software is built on a unified code base as a single platform. Features of commvault include protecting data using mobile devices, web browsers that end users can access, etc.

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CommVault Tutorial for Beginners - Updated 2021

Commvault software platform

Commvault software was previously called simpana. The data produced is safeguarded by installing agent software on the virtual or physical hosts which make use of APIs or operating systems (OS) to protect data in a steady state. Produced data is processed by the agent software at the client-side (computers) and data is backed up to disk, tape, data manager, MediaAgent, or cloud storage. The CommServe a centralized server tracks all the data management activities through central user interface (CUI).

Features of Simpana software:

  • It provides complete protection to the data and is supported by all the operating systems (OS), applications (APIs), and databases (DBs) on cloud-based infrastructures, both virtual as well as physical servers, networked attached storage (NAS) shares, and mobiles.
  • Managing is simple through a single console, to view, maintain, and access all functions and data across the organizations.
  • There are multiple methods to protect data including content indexing for eDiscovery, backup and archive, snapshot management, and replication. The most efficient way to store and manage data is by deduplication for tape and disk.
  • This software is integrated with the storage arrays which automates the creation of indexed across multi-vendor storage platforms and application-aware snapshot copies.
  • The software has complete virtual infrastructure management supporting both Hyper-V and VMware.
  • Advanced security provides granular management capabilities, the ability to limit access to critical data, and provides single sign-on access for active users.
  • Through Commvault software end-users will experience the cutting edge software quality to find, protect, and recover their own data using tools such as Microsoft Outlook, web browsers, and File Explorer.

Capabilities of commvault software: 

This software platform delivers exceptional advantages and benefits with an integrated approach to data and information management. The platform has powerful software that is tightly integrated, and provides functionality through virtual environments to recover and protect data, the ability to manage complexity and costs, and acquires a better understanding of your information.


Some of the capabilities are listed below:

OnePass and Archiving: By this technique, you can classify, store, access, and store data according to evidentiary value, and business. We can also access and preserve the data that is stored electronically.

This is the first process industries have incorporated to archive and backup data. It combines both the processes - archive and backup into one (single), with low-impact data collection (operation). This operation moves data into secondary storage, and data functions as a backup and archives a copy. For instance, big file storage and email problems that constantly grow with no footprints, are managed by archiving data with no overhead additions, and parallelly storing and retaining data based on its utility. 

There are two types of agents to perform archiving. They are:

  1. Database archive agents
  2. Classic archive agents

Database archive agents: They securely archive the inactive data to the backup media,  and archive the database and provide access to data archived in the database.

Classic archive agents: These are used in emails to move infrequent items from primary to secondary storage and optimize the storage space, and provide data retention at a low cost.

Snapshot Management: To manage snapshots, IntelliSnap technology is preferred. It includes the complex life cycle of snapshot management into the framework (software). This integrated method makes it easy, quick, and affordable to equip accelerating backup and recovery of applications, the power of multiple array-based snapshots, data, virtual machines, and systems. It automatically creates application-aware (hardware) snapshots of copies across multiple storage environments, and a list of snapshot data is recovered from individual files without the collection of scripts and recovery tools.

Security and Encryption: It securely protects data present in the cloud or in the premises, at the edge. The main aim is to secure data, whether it may be in the office or on the road, on devices or laptops, and at rest or while traveling. It uses effective encryption standards which have to be customizable to access content and operations, single sign-on, audit trails, role-based security, and alerting to secure your information. Data that is protected efficiently is stored in “ContentStore”. Content store is a virtual repository of all managed data. This security will reduce costs by securing stored data.

Deduplication: This feature reduces backup time by saving data to the storage and network resources. This is done by identifying and removing duplicate data during backups. All the data from the operating systems like UNIX, Windows, LINUX is “deduplicated” before moving into the secondary storage. During this process, various factors are considered such as reducing the space required for storage, reducing the time and bandwidth required to move data and to reduce the time taken to restore data. Setting up deduplication where it makes some sense: on the target, at the source, or sometimes both. Deduplicated data is stored in tapes for long-term storage purposes. The technique of deduplication benefits during disaster recovery, by moving deduplicated copies of data to cloud storage.

[Related Article: CommVault Deduplication]

Disaster Recovery: It’s likely that due to the impact of application interruptions, data loss can be stunning. That is why disaster recovery is the most significant operation that every organization requires. The ability to handle interruptions that are unplanned caused by intuitions must be taken care of. This software drastically simplifies disaster recovery operations and enhances business continuity with an efficient platform, that is flexible and integrated, improves business by reducing costs and the risks of data loss. Appropriate strategies are to be sleek or up-to-date at the time of disaster. These might include:

  • By integrating the deduplication concept into data protection operation, will decrease the amount of data that must be recovered at the time of disaster
  • By reducing recovery time and cost of disaster recovery with DASH Copy, which quickly and efficiently deduplicated backup copies to secondary sites or cloud.
  • To Improve business continuity integrated array-based replication will provide data to a disaster recovery site.
  • For smooth extending off-site recovery deep cloud storage integration is used.
  • Use Virtualize Me in your virtual environment for rapid disaster recovery. 
  • Live Sync is used to create and maintain recovery sites for virtual machines (VM) to run crucial enterprise applications.

Frequently Asked CommVault Interview Questions

Backup and Recovery:

Commvault software allows smooth and efficient backup and restoration of data of your organization from most prevailing operating systems (OS), databases (DB), and applications. This system uses agents to interface with applications and file systems to facilitate the transfer of data to the protected environment. Data can be safeguarded in the following ways:

  • Applications
  • Databases
  • File Systems

CommCell Architecture:

A CommCell is the logical group of all the software components that store,   move, protect, and manage information (data). It contains one or more Media Agents, one or more clients, and one CommServe host.



The MediaAgent (MA) acts as a data transport manager in the CommCell environment. It manages the data storage libraries and performs data movement. CommServe(server) correlates MA tasks. Scalability is achieved by involving more than one MediaAgent(MA) in a CommCell environment. This software can be installed in clustered, physical, and virtual environments.


A client is a group of software agents that aids the movement of data  associated with the client and acts as a protection manager. 


There is a possibility of only one CommServe host. It is the chief management component that executes all CommCell operations-- configuration, maintaining SQL Server (databases) that contain all operational history, and security of CommCell environment. It can be installed in virtual, clustered, and physical platforms. 


An agent is software that is installed on a user computer to protect data. Different agent software are available to manage different data types on a client, for example, Windows file system data and SQL databases. Agent software can be installed in virtual, physical, and clustered environments, and may be installed on the proxy server too. 

CommCell Console

The CommCell Console is the user interface for managing the CommCell environment. It performs -- viewing events related to all activities and controlling and monitoring the active jobs. It allows decentralized and centralized enterprises to manage all activities through, common interface (single).

Web Server

This offers a web service that processes client requests from one or more web applications like the Web Console and the command center that communicate with the CommServe. It provides access to CommCell where end-user can perform operations on the web.

By default, the Web Console and Web Server components are installed with the CommServe. These components are not necessarily for CommServe host but, you can accept while installing CommServe host. For better scalability, you can host it on multiple platforms.

Web Console

It is a web application that allows clients to manage their data, perform other useful operations like managing virtual machines, reporting, and downloading software packages. You can have several Web Console components combined with the same Web Server or different Web Servers. It includes both the Command Center and the Web Console interface. 

Reporting Server

The Reporting Server allows you to access reports that help you to maintain one or more CommCell environments from one location on your Web Console.

Workflow Engine

To automates, enterprise processes the Workflow tool is used. It is done by putting tasks together in a specific order. It helps you automate both external tasks and  CommCell tasks.

Start learning: CommVault Interview Questions

Tools & Utilities

These are the three major tools and utilities provided with Commvault software.

Developer Tools:

Commvault developer tools are a set of business intelligence tools and API tools, that support many development approaches, operating systems, and technology platforms to facilitate the development of applications for business services that can be reused and easily integrated into your organization.

Administration Tools and Utilities :

To analyze the contents of log file  Commvault jobs, the GxTail tool is used for troubleshooting. It has many features that reduce your debugging time, such as highlighting those relevant to the issue and filtering out messages that are less relevant, DB Maintenance (Troubleshooting queries on the CommServe database), etc.

Events Organizer:

It is a web-based application for managing and creating corporate events - For example, seminars, conferences, or exhibitions. You can also develop reports for monitoring and tracking events and conduct surveys.

Career opportunities

There are no prerequisites for learning CommVault software. However, opportunities are growing day-by-day in this area. Students, developers related to R&D and Infrastructure, Software Engineers, System Administrators(DBA), End Users, and Aspirants aiming for a career in this prospective field can opt to learn. 

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