CommVault Interview Questions

Are you ready to acquire your management skill sets with recently designed HKR’s CommVault interview questions article? The CommVault- most demanding data protection and information solution which provides mid and enterprise-level organization worldwide. Before enterprises were struggling to protect and access all of their data. But with the CommVault it’s easy to protect and secure all the data. HKR’s CommVault interview questions article will help you to unleash the skill sets that are required to crack any complex comvault interview. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get learning

Now let's have a look into the commvault interview questions based on the basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

commvault Basic Interview Questions

1. What is CommVault?

Ans: CommVault is a data protection and information management platform. It helps organizations access, protect and use all of their data to its true value. It is also used for taking data backups and recovery. CommVault is headquartered in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

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2. What do you mean by the CommVault tool?

Ans: CommVault is an information and management solution that offers to protect and manage your business data. CommVault is a publically traded software company founded in the year 1988, located in the United States of America. This software can be used for data backup, recovery, and cloud management. CommVault, which is formerly known as Simpana, Software enables us to access and use of their data, anywhere and anytime, turning the data into a powerful strategic asset. This software solution also optimizes the data protection for the broad NetApp storage portfolio and many organize uses the CommVault as a backup server for the data recovery purpose.

3. What are the ways of achieving high availability?

Ans: There are three ways of achieving high availability in CommVault,

  • Log Shipping
  • SQL Mirroring
  • Clustering at the level of SQL
4. What are the features of the CommVault software tool?

Ans: The following are the key features of CommVault;

  •       Offers efficient storage management with the help of duplication for disk and tape.
  •       Provides simplified management via a single console system.
  •       Provides complete data protection and security.
  •       Users can use third-party screen readers with the help of command-line interfaces, web console, and admin console managements.
  •       Snapshot management and edge endpoint solutions
  •       CommCell management, data management, and media management are also possible.
5. What are the other ways of doing high availability?

Ans: There are various ways of performing high availability in CommVault;

  •       Log shipping
  •       SQL mirroring
  •       Clustering SQL level
6. What is the HASH algorithm?

Ans:A HASH algorithm in CommVault is used in the duplication process whenever the system reads the block of data from multiple sources and also helps to generate a unique signature.

7. What are the copies and what are they?

Ans: In CommVault, we can see only one Primary copy and different auxiliary/secondary copies such as;

  •       Selective copy: this type of copy allows users to copy the specific backup system tools from different source copy. This source copy can be either a primary        or a synchronous copy.
  •       Inline copy: in this type of Copy, we can perform both primary and secondary copy tasks that are written to storage the backup phase itself.
  •       Synchronous copy: In Synchronous copy, all the primary data can be copied.
8. Explain the types of copies in CommVault

Ans: We will have the data as one primary copy to which there will be secondary copies. We can create three types of secondary copies,

  • Synchronous secondary copy - includes data from a source copy
  • Selective secondary copy - includes valid full or synthetic full backup data
  • IntelliSnap backup copy - manages the control of snapshots which are started by a backup job. Contains archived index data
9. What are CommServe DR procedures?

Ans: CommServe DR is hardware fresh which consists of Copy DR sets this provides CommServe facilities and restores the CS DR procedures.

10. What is the global Dedup security policy?

Ans: This global duplication policy enables the data duplication across the multiple storage sets of disk libraries and database servers (DDB).

11. What is DDB in CommVault?

Ans: The following factors will give a brief explanation of DDB:

  •       DDB is an efficient way to transmit and data storage which is possible through detecting and eliminating duplicate data blocks.
  •       Duplication Database (DDB) system is protected by DDB backup sub-client methods
  •       When you create the storage policy with the help of duplication data, DDB backup will be created automatically under the file management system agent            on  the media client.
12. What are the main components of the CommCell environment?

Ans: There are 3 building blocks of the CommCell environment;

  • CommServe: This is the central management component that executes all the CommCell data operations.
  • Media Agent: this is a data transmission manager system that enables high-level data movement performance and handles the data storage packages.
  • Client: A client is a logical group of data agents that perform tasks like data protection, management, and movement of data association.

13. What are the uses of the proxy server?

Ans: The benefits of a proxy server such as;

  • Proxy server is used to access the storage array which is used to create a snapshot.
  • The snapshot is built on the ESX server designated for the snap mount.
  • This helps to unmount the snapshots
  • The mounted snapshot is treated as a file system and the required content will be read.
  • The file backup acts as a primary copy of the storage policy
  • When the backup task is finished, the snapshot is unmounted

14. What are the entities that get backed up with VMWare backups?

Ans: We can perform backup on VMWare from a subclient. The entities that get backed up are,

  • Windows and Linux virtual machines 
  • VM templates
  • VMDK files
  • Virtual RDMs
  • GPT or dynamic disk volumes
  • vSphere tags
  • Fault-tolerant VMs
15. What are the types of transport modes available for VMWare backup?

Ans: The data of a Virtual Machine can be accessed by a VMware Backup Host using four methods,

  • SAN - VMware Backup Host should reside on a physical machine and be able to access Fibre Channel or iSCSI SAN
  • LAN - the data from storage will be read by ESX/ESXi host and sent to the VMware Backup Host through a network
  • HotAdd - if the VMware Backup Host is on a VM, we can use HotAdd to attach the VMDKs of the Virtual Machine that is being backed up to the VMware Backup Host
  • NBDSSL - this works similarly to LAN. In addition to LAN, NBDSSL uses SSL encryption for all the data that is passed through TCP/IP connection

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16. What are CommVault Appliances?

Ans: Commvault HyperScale Appliance provides seamless scale and data protection solutions. It is mainly used for scaling out infrastructure with cloud-like economics. It is a storage architecture that provides a platform for indexing, storage, data security, automation, reporting, etc.

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17. What is DDB seeding?

Ans: DDB seeding is the predefined workflow that helps the user to transfer the data. These data are available in baseline backup and acts as a connection between the two sites with the help of removable disk drives such as USB data-driven devices. We can use DD seeding to start the workflow manually from the CommCell console component.

18.What is the default block size for duplication?

Ans: The default block size for the data duplication is 128kb.

19. What is synthetic full, full back up, and dash full?

Ans: 

Synthetic full: Synthetic full backup consolidates all the data incremental backups and appends the last backup data. Here the server (server is nothing but client machine or network utilization) performs very low utilization when compared to Full back up.

Full Backup: this full backup performs full utilization operation which is taken from the server.

Dash Full: this dash full performs operations like copying the unique blocks of the de-duplicate data, updates the DDB data, and also index the backup data.

20. What is SILO?

Ans: A silo is the collection of disk volume data folders that are associated with the DDB (De-Duplicate database). It contains the deduplicated data that is pre-written on the disk storage.

21. Name the various types of backups available in CommVault?

Ans:The following are the different backups available in CommVault;

  •       Full backup
  •       Incremental backup
  •       Differential back up
  •       Synthetic full back up
  •       Block level back up
22. Name the different types of transfer modes available for CommVault?

Ans: The different types of transfer modes are such as;

  • Transport mode SAN (storage area network)
  • Data can be accessed directly when they are located in VMware host or we can call it as LUN.
  • Hot add transfer mode
  • Local area network (NBD and NBDSSL) transfer mode
23. What is commvault simpana?

Ans:Simpana is indeed one of the capabilities of Commvault's enterprise backup software platform specifically built for backup, archiving, and analysis of data. Simpana is a modern variant of the method of deduplication implemented by Commvault.

Commvault intermediate interview questions

24. Tell me about the infrastructure that you worked on previously

Ans: This question will be mostly asked to a CommVault experienced candidate. The answer should include the number of Prod CommServe, DR CommServe, Media Agents, etc. Mention about all the backup servers that you have used.

25. List all day-to-day activities of a backup admin?

Ans:The following are the operations performed by the users;

  • User needs to check the available free space regularly and also mention the remaining space available in the disk libraries.
  • Extract the backup report which is already failed and analyze the issue. All you need to do is the rectification the process.
  • Check regularly for deployment, decommissions, and restores the requests.
  • You need to check for the media agent when they are not in offline mode.
26. What is the process of moving DDB to a new media agent?

Ans:  The following steps explain the process;

Step 1: Go to -> Deduplication engines -> under the storage resources

Step 2: now choose the DDP that you want to move -> then right-click on it -> click on move partitions

Step 3: Now choose the new Media agent option that is available in the target media agent.

27. How can we access reports in CommVault?

Ans: To get access to reports, go to the web console by hitting the URL in a browser. Log into your account and click on 'Reports'. In the case of a private metrics reporting server, you will be able to view the reports in the CommCell console.

28.What are the types of backups available in CommVault

Ans: Commvault provides efficient backup and restores functionalities for any enterprise. These are the types of backups available in CommVault,

  • Full Backup
  • Incremental Backup
  • Differential Backup
  • Synthetic Full Backup
  • Selective Online Full Backup
  • Block-Level Backup
29. What is the difference between a snapshot and a clone?

Ans: Cloning is used to make a copy of something whereas a snapshot makes an initial copy and then adds subsequent changes to it. Both snapshots and clones are considered a good approach to disaster recovery.

30. Is CommVault enterprise-level software?

Ans:The answer is yes, it is enterprise-level software. Using this CommVault software we can build the data modules from scratch and this software can be used independently based on one’s requirement.

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31. How you configure a cluster backup?

Ans: 

The steps are as follows;

  1. Create the cluster group -> add the client machines -> perform sync.
  2. For the windows software (Commvault) installation -> you need to prompt the passive node.
  3. Then perform installation -> schedule backup.commvault advaced interview questions

commvault Advanced Interview Questions

32. Explain about Intellisnap?

Ans:  Intellisnap backup is used to create a point-in-time snapshot of the data. It is mainly used for taking backup of live data and then continuing the live operations.

33. Explain about IRM

Ans: IntelliSnap recovery manager (IRM) is used to execute hardware storage systems snapshots into a recovery process with no effect on the production server. It also provides a centralized configuration wizard through which we can configure storage media, policies, etc.

34. How to perform a VMware backup?

Ans: The below-mentioned steps will help you perform a VM ware backup:

  • First navigate to the client computers -> from the CommCell console -> then select the virtualization- client->virtual server -> VMware -> backup-set.
  • Now right click on a sub-client -> click on the backup option -> here you need to select any one backup type such as full, incremental, or differential backups.
  • If you want to modify the backup -> go to default modify settings -> then click on the advanced.
  • If you want to run any program immediately-> click on immediate -> click configure -> specify the task -> click ok.
  • Click on home -> job controller -> then track the progress of the job.
35. Explain the steps involved in creating the CommVault proxy?

Ans: The below steps explains the steps involved in creating the CommVault proxy;

Step 1: Right-click on the client computer -> from the CommVault browser -> select the properties

Step 2: go to the properties dialog box -> click on the network button -> select the configuration firewall settings -> select checkbox

Step 3: Now click on the options tab -> choose the “computer is in DMZ and this will work as a proxy checkbox.

Step 4: Click on the incoming connection option -> now select the add

Step 5: select the Commserve_client_name from the list

Step 6: from the list -> select the Restricted -> click OK.

36. What is the process that happens in backup copy operations in the proxy server?

Ans:

  • The snapshot will be mounted to the ESX server
  • Once the snapshot is mounted, it will be treated as a file system, so the required contents can be read
  • The primary copy will be used to perform the file system backup
  • After the backup job is done, the snapshot will be unmounted

37. How can we use a specific set of tapes for a server backup?

Ans: We have to create a new scratch pool and add the media to it. Attach a subclient to the scratch pool. This can be done at two levels,

  • Storage policy level
  • Copy policy level
38.Explain about Silo in CommVault

Ans:A set of disk volume folders associated with DDB and contains deduplication data is called a Silo. This is used to eliminate data restore from tape to disk library. 

39.Explain the difference between a clone and a snapshot

Ans:

  • A clone is like a duplicate of the database. It contains the exact copy of data as that of the database
  • A snapshot is a copy of a database at a particular timestamp. We should take a subsequent snapshot if there are any changes made to the database. When we want to restore data, we will have a restore point to get the data from a certain point in time
40. Explain the ways to restore data using CommServe?

Ans: There are two possible ways available to restore the data using CommServe;

  • Here user can directly restore the backup data from a DR export file location
  • By retrieving the data that is present in the disk or tape backup and then restoring the DR data.
41. How does CommVault work?

Ans:

  • CommVault software tools contain the advanced modules which are used for data protection, analyzing the duplicate data, and searching the data. All these advanced modules share the same set of back-end services and also offer advanced capabilities to interact with each other
  • Here data will be protected by installing CommVault agent software on the physical or virtual hosts that use the application native APIs or operating systems to protect all the data in a consistent way. This operation is controlled by a centralized server called CommServer.

42. Explain about Global Dedup Storage Policy?

Ans: The global deduplication policy furnishes a common deduplication database(DDB) that can be shared by various storage policy copies. It allows the deduplication of data from multiple copies which results in removing redundant data.

43.Explain briefly about storage policy?

Ans: A storage policy in CommVault is a data management entity that contains a set of rules that will be applied in lifecycle management. This supports data protection in the sub client’s contents. Storage policy also associates with the client backup to storage tape or disks and here the policy will be used to set the data retention.

44. How to access reports in CommVault?

Ans: Here users can access the reports through the cloud services portal and web console.

45. How you configure a cluster backup?

Ans: The steps are as follows;

  1. Create the cluster group -> add the client machines -> perform sync.
  2. For the windows software (Commvault) installation -> you need to prompt the passive node.
  3. Then perform installation -> schedule backup.

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46. What is the HASH algorithm?

Ans: A HASH algorithm in CommVault is used in the duplication process whenever the system reads the block of data from multiple sources and also helps to generate a unique signature.

47. Describe the key features of Commvault software?

Ans. The following are the key features of Commvault:-

  • It offers complete data security and supports all major apps, OS, databases, and mobile devices. 
  • Commvault simplifies management using a single console.
  • It provides advanced security and encryption to manage data.
  • It offers effective storage management using the de-dupe process for tape & disk.
  • Allows using 3rd party screen readers with the help of a command-line interface (CLI), web, and admin console.
  • Managing Snapshot
  • Managing CommCell 
  • Media Operations Management
  • Data Management & so on.

48. Name the different methods of doing High availability?

Ans. The following are the different methods of doing High availability in Commvault.

  • Log shipping
  • SQL mirroring
  • Clustering SQL level

49. Describe the Storage Policy in Commvault?

Ans. A storage policy in Commvault is a data management entity with a set of lifecycle management rules that defines data protection in the Subclient’s data. It manages and takes backup of the Subclient’s data even if it rests on other servers in Commcell.

These data management rules include managing data, protecting data, where the data will reside, and other options like shortening, encryption, and elimination of duplicate data in secured storage.

Moreover, the following are the various types of storage policies in Commvault:

  • Standard
  • Incremental
  • Disaster recovery backup

50. Define Commvault Simpana?

Ans. Simpana is one of the major features of Commvault’s enterprise data recovery platform specially designed for backup, records, and data reporting. Moreover, it is the latest version of the Deduplication/duplicate elimination process launched by Commvault.

51. Describe the various types of Copies available?

Ans. There is only one primary or synchronous copy and to that, we will be having multiple types of secondary types of copies. The following are secondary copies such as:-

  • Synchronous Copy: A synchronous copy automatically consists of all the valid data from a source copy.
  • Snapshot Copy: Manages the task retention built by a backup job. It allows building vaults or model copies of the snapshot copy that includes in the server backup plan.
  • Selective Copy: This copy automatically consists of valid full or specific full data recovery based on certain parameters. It also allows a user to copy specific full backup jobs from the main source copy. Moreover, the root copy can be a primary copy or a synchronous copy in Commvault. 

52. Explain DDB in Commvault?

Ans. DDB refers to Deduplication DataBase in Commvault where the term Deduplication is a logical way of imparting and storing data by ascertaining and removing replicate data blocks during backups.

Moreover, DDB is highly secured by DDB Backup Subclient. When we design a storage policy by enabling deduplication, the DDB Backup Subclient is also automatically built under the file system agent on the media client factor where the DDBs are actually organized.

53. Define the steps to configure Commvault Proxy?

Ans. To configure the Commvault Proxy on the new client, the following steps wil be helpful.

  • Step1: Make a Right-click on the client system that you will use as a Commvault proxy from the Commvault browser. Then choose the properties section. 
  • Step2: Click on the Network button available in the ‘Properties dialog box, and then select the checkbox - configure firewall settings.
  • Step3: Now Go to the ‘Options’ tab and select “this system is in DMZ and will start working as a proxy checkbox.”
  • Step4: Go to the Incoming connections tab and then select the option “add”.
  • Step5: Make the selection of the “CommServe_client_name” available in the list.
  • Step6: Go to the State list, select the “RESTRICTED” option and click the “OK” button.

54. What is the Commcell environment in Commvault?

Ans. A Commcell environment in Commvault is the logical arrangement of all the software components that secure, transfer, and manage data and information. This environment includes CommServe host, MediaAgent, and Clients.

  • CommServe - It is the primary management component that interrelates and performs all Commcell tasks.
  • Client - A Client is a logical group of factors that defines the security, control, and movement of client data.
  • MediaAgent - In the Commcell environment, MediaAgent is a data transmission manager that allows high-performance data transfer and manages data storage libraries effectively.

55. How does Commvault software work?

Ans. Commvault is a data management platform that includes various modules for protecting, analyzing, duplicating, and searching data. All these modules perform the same type of back-end services with a high capacity to interact with each other continuously.

Moreover, it installs agent software on the physical or virtual hosts to safeguard data. It uses the application's native APIs or OS to safeguard data in a compatible condition Then the data is taken back up using Media Agent to the disk, tape, or cloud storage. Here, the CommServe controls the whole data management as a central server.

56. Define Silo in Commvault?

Ans. A Silo is a group of disk capacity folders related to the Deduplication Database (DDB) and it takes backup of data. It holds the de-dupe data written on the disk storage. Here, the SILO activity duplicates the folders to tape and the data stays in its de-dupe form.

57. Define Hash Algorithm in Commvault?

Ans. In the deduplication process in the Commvault, a HASH algorithm is used whenever a machine reads the block data from a different source. And it helps to produce a unique signature for the block data through this algorithm.

58. Mention the deduplicated storage policy’s default block size?

Ans. The default block size is 128kb for the deduplicated (De-dupe) storage policies.

59. Define the deduplication ratio percentage that we could maintain?

Ans. Generally, we could maintain following the deduplication ratio:-

  • It could be around 90% or more coming to the filing machines' backups
  • But for the database backups, we could maintain it between 70% to 95%

60. What is the place for downloading the reports in Commvault?

Ans. To download and view reports in Commvault, you can use the web console.

61. Define the way to access reports in the Commvault platform?

Ans. Reports can be accessed through the cloud services portal and web console.

62. Distinguish between a Snapshot and a Clone?

Ans. Clone refers to making a duplicate copy of something but a Snapshot makes a primary copy of anything and then subsequently modifies it. Moreover, both of these are considered to be good methods for disaster recovery.

63. Define IRM in Commvault and its work?

Ans. IRM refers to IntelliSnap Recovery Manager which executes hardware storage systems snapshots to a retrieval process. It doesn’t impact the production server in this process. Also, it provides speedy and easy backups for Snapshots, a centralized configuration wizard, and application support.

Below steps will present the way IRM works:

  • It starts the Snapshot tasks via a schedule or on-demand Intellisnap job from the Commcell console.
  • Using the snapshot job, we can access the array when it begins to build the content’s snapshot.   
  • Then, the snapshot is scaled for post-snap activities on the source machine.
  • After the purpose is over, the snapshot is unmounted from the machine.
  • Now the snapshot will provide various activities like mount/revert/restore much faster.

64. What do you mean by DDB seeding?

Ans. DDB or Deduplication Database seeding is a preset workflow that grants moving initial measure backup between two websites using a transferable disk drive.

65. What is meant by Deduplication Building Blocks?

Ans. To manage data, Commvault software runs a building block method which is a group of servers and storage that protects data sets irrespective of the data type or its origin.

DBB or Deduplication Building Blocks helps to safeguard large-size data with the least framework, faster backups, and better reliability.

66. Commvault is an Enterprise-Level software-Is it?

Ans. It is true that Commvault is an enterprise-level software. Commvault is a very simple platform to use and it is developed from scratch and includes multiple modules. They can be used independently as per the requirement. 

67. Define the Backup work in Commvault?

Ans. Commvault software offers the most effective, well-organized backup and restores enterprise data from common applications, OS, and databases. For data backup, it uses agents or factors to connect with apps or files. Also, it eases data transfer from production machines to secured environments.

The following are the different types of backups we get in Commvault:

  • Full 
  • Differential 
  • Incremental 
  • Synthetic Full 
  • Selective Online Full 
  • Block-Level Backup

68. Define Continuous Data Replicator (CDR) in Commvault?

Ans. The CDR helps to duplicate data from the source files to the target. It safeguards data and offers recovery support for different types of data which includes application data and file systems.

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.