CommVault Tutorial

Are you ready to acquire your management skill with the most demanding information software solution?, namely CommVault – the most demanding data protection and information solutions provided for mid and enterprise-level organizations worldwide. Before enterprises were struggling to protect and access all of their data now the industries have come up with the solution which is the CommVault information management solution. This CommVault tutorial provides the complete guide in management capabilities, features, installation, and implementation process. Let’s get started our journey with the CommVault Tutorial

Introduction to CommVault:

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

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Why CommVault software?

The CommVault software has been used in cloud and AWS solution tools to protect, access, and backup their data. The most common benefits of using CommVault are as follows;

Data and information access:

Users can access data files, emails, and documentation can be stored and also helps to recover or retrieve them seamlessly from web browser pages, mobile devices, and native application tools.


Protected data can be stored on disk, tape, and as a database server object retention. The data independent multiple copy management can be used to meet all DR and compliance requirements.

Data protection:

Data protection methods' including backup, archiving, snapshots, and replication is supported on all major operating systems and applications.

Altering, reporting, and analysis:

Alters about events that require attention, reports with detailed information about operations, and detailed analytics of your data provide a complete assessment to the CommCell.


All administrative tasks are centrally managed through a single administrative interface. Tasks can also be performed from mobile devices and web pages.

These are the primary purpose of the CommVault software solution tool.

Now it’s time to learn the Architecture of CommVault;

CommVault Architecture overview:

CommVault Architecture defines the collection of logical software components that protect, transfer, store, and manage the business data and information.

There are 9 primary logical components we can see in the CommVault architecture, Let me explain them one by one with an appropriate diagram,

1. CommServe:

The Commserve is the main and central component of the CommVault Architecture. This component executes and coordinates the CommCell operations, maintains the database servers (Microsoft SQL) for configuration, data security, and server operation history for the CommVault environment. This is the only one host available in the CommVault environment.

2. Media Agent:

The media agent is used for data transmission purposes in the CommVault environment. This transmission manager offers highly performed data movements and manages the storage libraries. The media agent component tasks are coordinated by the Commserve host in the environment. There can be more than one Media agent transmission manager available in the CommVault environment.

3. Client:

A client in the CommVault environment is the grouping of the software tools. They mainly perform operations like data protection, data management, and data movements. Agent software can be installed in many ways for example, physical, virtual, or clustered software environments.

4. Agent:

An agent is a kind of software module, that is mainly installed on a client system to protect the highly specific data. There are many agent software available to manage the different client data types such as Microsoft window File system and Oracle database servers.  We can see 4 types of Agents such as backup agents, Archive agents, virtualizations, and replication.

5. CommCell Console:

CommCell Console is a user interface component that manages the CommVault environment by monitoring and controlling the active tasks, and viewing all activity related events. This CommCell Console works on both centralized and decentralized business organizations to manage all the data related activity through a single and common user interface.

6. Web Server:

The web server in the CommVault environment manages all the web related services and also processes the request from Command Center and the Web console applications, and enables them to communicate with the CommServe systems. And finally, allow the Commserve system data to access the CommCell operations and end-user applications.

7. Web Console:

Web Console is nothing but a type of web application, which allows all the end-users to perform operations like managing the data, reporting, and downloading the software libraries/packages.

8. Reporting server:

The Reporting server in the CommVault environment helps the end-user to access the reports and monitor them with CommCell computers on Web console locations.

9. Workflow Engine:

This workflow engine tool easily automates the business process and arranges them in a specific task order. The workflow engine tool automates both the CommCell tasks and external system tasks.

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CommVault tools:

The CommVault tools can be distinguished into the Quick Access tool, Create/Edit tool, and application tools. Let's discuss them one by one;

1. Quick Access tool:

Alias name -> this tool specifies the application workflow names.

The workflow or executable names -> this tool specifies the command used to run any application.

Parameter -> this tool defines the parameters required to run any workflow application.

Startup path -> this tool defines the location where the application to be launched.

OS type -> specifies the type of operating system to be used and also defines the client's place.

Visibility -> This specifies the application is available for both the users such as the public or private.

Creator -> this tool indicates the name of the application user that was used for the workflow.

Description -> defines the usage and other details about the application.

Add -> this tool allows users to add new applications and also access the create tool dialog box.

Edit -> this editing tool selected application.

Delete -> this tool deletes the application tool.

Associate tool -> this tool helps the user to associate with CommServe and CommCell console applications.

Impersonate user: This tool specifies the login details such as username and password details to access the application tool.

Enable -> This tool informs the user about the availability of any application.

Ask for credentials -> this tool available to add credentials to access only the CommServe component or any client computer.

Overview of CommVault Backup:

CommVault Backup is a seamless and most effective method to restore information and data in the business enterprises from mainstream databases, applications, platforms, and operating systems.  This backup and restore method uses the agents as an interface with the file systems and applications to perform the data transmission from production systems into the protected environments. There are 6 types of CommVault backups available, let's discuss them one by one:

1. Full Backup:

Backup for any client system should start with Full backup. The agents who support the non-full backup method, then this type of backup becomes a baseline, where subsequent backup methods are applied.

For example,If an agent performs incremental backup then a full backup should be performed before the incremental initiation.

2. Incremental backup:

An incremental backup method contains only new data objects or already modified data objects from the previous backup. This type of backup consumes fewer media components and less resource space when compared to the full backup.

3. Differential backup:

Differential backup is more or less similar to Incremental backup. This type of backup contains the new data or already modified data. This also consumes fewer media and resources than a full backup.

4. Synthetic Full backup:

A synthetic full backup method contains the data from the latest backup and this backup combines with subsequent incremental backups to form an archive file in any database system. Here synthetic backup reduces tasks like reading or backing up of client data from any computers or devices. One drawback of using this backup method is that it doesn't perform the backup operations directly from the client computer and doesn’t load the data on any client systems.

5. Selective online Full backup:

For a few databases, this selective full backup can be used when the databases are online. This selective full backup method contains data, log details, and control files. This backup data is copied to another backup method during the time of auxiliary copy operations and the user can also restore the data for further usage.

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6. Block-Level Backup:

This block-level backup method mainly integrates the snapshot data using any block storage techniques to speed up the backup mechanisms.

CommVault preprocess and post-process overview:   

CommVault preprocesses and Post-process mechanisms are used to perform operations like data protection, data recovery, and replications.

Step by step procedure to activate preprocesses and post-process phase:


From the CommCell browsers -> go to the client computers -> click client button-> select agent-> in that select back_up set.

Step 2:

Go to the back_up set tab located in the right panel-> right click on the sub-client -> click properties.

Step 3:

Now click the advanced button -> select advanced subclient properties in the dialog box.

Step 4:

Now go to the preprocess/ postprocess tab-> select the configure preprocess/post-process;

Enter the path to the batch file -> that is available in the Pre backup process box.

Enter the path to the batch file -> that is available in the Post-backup process box.

Step 5:

Now it’s time to click the OK button.

Step 6:

Go to the backup tab in the right panel -> right-click the sub-client -> now click on the Backup button.

Now you will see the backup option dialog box.

Step 7:

  Now select the full button as the backup type -> choose immediately to run the applications.

Step 8:

Then Click Ok button

CommVault Restore methods:

Listed below are different methods by which the user can restore the data.

CommCell Console:

The CommCell Console method restores the primary interfaces and commands. This method offers higher flexibility and richest data set options for data restoration. There are several restore methods conducted by the CommCell Console;

Basic Restore:

This type of restoration method is mainly used for the File system, Data Agents, and File archiver agents. The basic restore method is the simplest and most direct single data object.

Browse and Restore:

Most of the users select the data objects from the browser windows. This method is more suitable for restoring multiple objects and also offers additional flexibility to the client data.

Find and Restore:

Here users search for the data that match patterns like wildcards or regular expressions and restore the data objects which are returned as a result.

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Command Line:

The command line restoring method restores the objects to offer a text-based and shell-style interface operation. Below are the few Command-line methods;

Command-line interface:

This type of command interface restores the data from the command line arguments and the user can also use it as an alternative to the CommCell console. The restored objects are available in the form of parameters or argument files.

Recovery Tools:

There are two types of recovery tools available in the CommVault;

Media Explorer:

This type of recovery tool is used for a quicker view and recovers the data objects from any media components. A media explorer tool can be used when CommCell is unusable or inaccessible.

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CommServe Recovery Assistant tool:

The Commserve Recovery Assistant tool is used to restore the Metadata that is stored in the CommServe SQL database server. This type of tool is used when there is a disaster recovery backup data file is created from the CommCell console component. The main usage of this tool is to rebuild the Commserve computer data and also maintain the CommServe host sites.

Command-Line in CommVault:

Command-Line in CommVault used to perform data backup, data restoration, and command-line operations. Command-line prompt runs these operations into third-party applications for automation and integration purposes. For example, the user creates a script to trigger the data backup when the application runs offline and also restore these data objects.

CommCell operations can be performed through these components such as command-line interface (CLI), Q scripts application, and the application programming interface (API).

Let’s discuss them one by one;

Command-line interface:

The command-line interface supports Qcommands and XML files mainly to perform CommCell Console operations such as data backup and data restoration.

To run this Command-line interface you have to follow these steps;

1. Go to the CommCell console -> click on Save as the script -> then select save XML file -> click on execution file command from the command prompt.

2. Select the XML template prompt -> from the documentation that can be saved using Save as Script.

3. Now execute the Qcommands -> to perform any operations through an XML file.


These QScripts in the command line are predefined SQL database Scripts that enable the user to perform query end and modification database operations.

Each QScript contains the readme files that hold instructions and parameters arguments to query the database. The important thing is that QScripts are per-defined by the software, so end-users cannot modify it.  QScripts are run on the latest legacy versions of the software, which do not support XML files.


Application programming interface:

This Application programming interface allows the end-user to create custom command lines using C or C++.  These customized command-line application interfaces can be run on Microsoft Windows and UNIX platforms.

Documentation Conventions:

The command-line interface in the documentation contains the following Conventions;

  • Bold Courier Font type used for the command-line arguments.
  • Brackets [(..)] are used to identify the parameter arguments.
  • Italic font type is mainly used to highlight the Q command-line operations and scripts.
  • In the XML data file server, XML options are used as parameters.
  • Underlined font type indicates the important Q Script commands.

 Advantages of using CommVault:

As we already know that CommVault has been used for data protection, data recovery, and back up mechanisms. Let me explain the analytical advantages of CommVault software;

  • The CommVault is a unique solution for virtual server backup environments, Physical clients, and servers as PC workstations.
  • Offers a unique solution for disaster data recovery in virtual server environments and also for physical servers.
  • Agents are included on Live elements systems mainly for Oracle database environments, MySQL, and application installations.
  • This CommVault also restores the Oracle database table and storage.
  • Enable users to perform Single type back-up operations as CommVault consists of three types of backup methods.
  • Users can also perform operations like source-side data duplications, integrations, and encryptions using encryption algorithms.
  • CommVault also indexes the backup contents on Microsoft Search engine Active Directories.
  • Users can be able to access the secured enterprise file systems to prevent unsafe and disaster data objects from the tablets and phones.
  • CommVault runs on Cross-platform systems such as Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux, and IOS operating systems.


In this article, I have tried to explain the CommVault technology and its features. As I explained before CommVault is a cross-platform technology that enables the user to protect, restore, and data recovery mechanisms. As per Gartner, CommVault has been emerging as one of the popular back-up technologies in the current tech market. I hope this may help a few of you to learn and upgrade your skill sets with CommVault and also for the community forums.





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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.

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