CxO Decision Brief: Harnessing Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery for Cyber Resilience and Business Continuity

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Solution Overview

Commvault® Cloud Cleanroom™ Recovery elevates business resilience with AI-driven orchestration for cyber recovery. This unique secure-and-isolated cloud recovery solution protects against the most pernicious cyber threats, which can cause traditional recovery solutions to restore compromised assets. Its clean recovery capability offers uncompromised protection against cyber threats.

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Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery aligns with strategic CIO goals for operational and budgetary effectiveness. It delivers:

  • Enhanced operational efficiency with AI-driven recovery to significantly reduce downtime.
  • Robust cyber resilience that enables clean and full recovery from cyber attacks.
  • Regulatory compliance assurance to safeguard against potential financial penalties.
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Immediate consideration is merited for organizations that face heightened cyber threats or undertake digital transformation. Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery is essential for advanced cyber resilience strategies that protect critical data assets and improve business continuity.

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Adopting Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery represents a cultural and operational transformation toward cyber resilience. Company’s must commit to end-user training, governance adaptation, and a shift in IT processes to foster a proactive security posture and collaborative approach across IT, security, and data management.

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Smaller organizations might face challenges with the complexity and integration demands of advanced cyber recovery solutions. Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery, while comprehensive, requires strategic planning and resources to fully leverage its benefits and mitigate potential vulnerabilities during deployment.

1. Solution Value

This GigaOm CxO Decision Brief commissioned by Commvault.

Commvault® Cloud Cleanroom™ Recovery offers CIOs a robust and innovative solution to help maintain business continuity amid escalating cyber threats. It is an advanced recovery solution that minimizes downtime and boosts operational resilience by leveraging an on-demand sterile and isolated cloud tenant. Notably, it includes AI-enabled recovery orchestration to enable clean and effective cyber recovery and testing in an isolated recovery environment, which illustrates Commvault’s foresight in protecting critical business operations against modern cyberthreats. It assures CIOs that critical business assets are recoverable quickly to a clean state—without restoring compromised credentials as part of the data and application recovery. Importantly, the solution also provides regular, predictable, and auditable recovery testing.

By creating an on-demand, isolated recovery environment (IRE) in the cloud, Commvault demonstrates a forward-thinking approach to safeguarding sensitive data, ensuring business-critical data can be quickly, reliably, and securely restored, free from compromises. In addition, this isolated, on-demand environment is suitable for recovery testing and forensic use cases. Regular, auditable cyber recovery testing, in particular, has historically been difficult to implement due to the costs and complexities of replicating production environments for all critical applications and their underlying data.

2. Urgency and Risk

With cyberthreats becoming increasingly sophisticated, establishing a resilient cyber recovery environment is not just a technical necessity, but a strategic business imperative. Cyber recovery establishes a third pillar alongside the familiar pillars of operational recovery and disaster recovery, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Three Pillars of Business Continuity

Operational Recovery Disaster Recovery Cyber Recovery
Scope Individual components Entire systems and infrastructure Cyberattacks
Example Recovering deleted files, application crashes Server room fire, flood Data breach, malware infection,
ransomware attack
Goals Minimize downtime, resume normal operations Business continuity, protect critical data Minimize cyberattack damage and downtime,
reliable and clean recovery
Methods Granular backups, point-in-time recovery Full system backups, off-site replication SIEM, cyber recovery plan, anomaly detection,
air gap, isolated recovery environment (IRE)

Source: Commvault

The urgency driving the adoption of Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery cannot be overstated. Cyberthreats loom larger than ever, and CIOs must prioritize the integration of resilient recovery environments into their cyber resilience strategies. Crucial for safeguarding critical data assets, this integration enables swift recovery from cyber incidents while preserving data integrity and operational continuity. A resilient recovery environment, such as that offered by Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery, enables clean and effective testing and recovery processes. This helps businesses restore operations without reinstating compromised states—a significant advancement in cyber recovery practices.

The stakes are raised by the prospect of security executives being held personally accountable for cybersecurity lapses, as highlighted by the Security Exchange Commission and its action against the CISOs at SolarWinds and Uber (link). This development signals a shift that intensifies the need for proactive measures.

It’s not a question of if or when an attack will occur, but rather how bad it will be. This fact makes the ability to recover from a cyberattack without restoring compromised states a paramount concern for every organization.


When integrating solutions like Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery, CIOs must consider risks related to people, process, and technology. Understanding and mitigating these risks is crucial for a successful implementation:

People Risks

  • Resistance to change: Employees may resist new technologies, fearing increased workload or skill redundancy. Engaging stakeholders early and providing comprehensive training can alleviate concerns.
  • Skill gaps: The complexity of new solutions may reveal gaps in current team capabilities, necessitating targeted training or new hires.

Process Risks

  • Workflow disruption: Implementing new technologies can interrupt established workflows and reduce productivity. Careful planning and phased rollouts can minimize disruptions.
  • Compliance issues: New solutions must align with regulatory requirements, or they risk creating compliance gaps. Thorough vetting for compliance compatibility is essential.

Technology Risks

  • Integration challenges: New solutions must integrate with existing IT infrastructure without creating data silos or compatibility issues. Testing and validation phases are crucial.
  • Cybersecurity vulnerabilities: Introducing new technology can inadvertently expose new security vulnerabilities. A comprehensive security assessment before and after implementation allows vulnerabilities to be identified and mitigated.

Addressing these risks involves a balanced approach that combines strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and robust testing protocols. By anticipating and mitigating these risks, CIOs can achieve seamless integration of Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery to enhance cyber resilience and operational efficiency.

3. Benefits

For the CIO, the key benefits of Commvault’s solution are multifaceted:

  • Minimizes disruption of business operations after a cyber attack, through secure and isolated recovery channels.
  • Allows for standardized, regular, and auditable on-demand cyber recovery testing.
  • Enables swift and reliable recovery processes that reduce the time to return to normal operations, crucial for maintaining market position and customer trust.
  • Allows recovering into an isolated, secure, on-demand environment for forensic analysis, continuous improvement and adaptability, and production failover for business continuity.
  • Supports clean recovery to clean locations. Because the restoration is specific to application and data, not accounts, the restored environment is clean of compromised accounts. And, as the recovery destination is on-demand and provisioned upon recovery, it is also clean of compromised entry paths, which provides for a level of integrity that is simply not possible using “Backup and Recovery” or “Disaster Recovery,” neither of which makes room for cleaning those vectors of compromise.
  • Features any-to-any portability to recover hybrid implementations to a central cloud location, resulting in more cost-effective and scalable recovery.
  • Provides AI assistance for anomaly detection in backups, for data classification and management, and for optimization of data recovery, recovery points, and recovery processes.
  • Improves adherence to compliance and regulatory mandates, which is critical to safeguard the company’s reputation and avoid financial penalties.
  • Offers significant cost optimizations over time, aligning with the CIO’s strategic goals for operational efficiency and budgetary effectiveness.

4. Best Practices

The best practices for implementing Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery, with a focus on operational excellence, include:

  • Integrate the solution into the broader business continuity plan to support a unified approach to cyber resilience.
  • Regularly test and update cyber-recovery protocols to maintain a state of readiness and adaptability.
  • Emphasize the importance of immutable and indelible data backups, which form the cornerstone of resilient recovery strategies. This allows recoverability without duplicating data for each environment.
  • Leverage AI assists where available for backup, data management, and recovery management.

5. Organizational Impact

Implementing Commvault’s solution will catalyze a shift toward meeting strategic business continuity goals. It will address the enhanced recovery demands unique to cybersecurity incidents, which differ significantly from those of traditional, non-security-related recovery scenarios, such as:

  • Anomaly detection: Utilizes machine learning to spot and preempt cyber threats.
  • Clean recovery points: Marks pre-compromise, minimizing attack impact.
  • Preventative measures: Provides a clean location and employs software updates, patching, and encryption to thwart threats.
  • Forensic analysis: Provides post-incident insights to bolster future defenses.

Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery’s nuanced approach to cyber resilience blends rapid threat response with secure recovery to prevent and mitigate the effects of cyber incidents. This will necessitate a review of current disaster recovery plans, an upgrade to more sophisticated cyber-resilience strategies, and a broader cultural shift toward prioritizing quicker and more effective recovery of business operations across the organization.

People Impact

Successful deployment of Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery compels the IT, security, and data teams to evolve their collaboration and communication methodologies. This transformation supports a culture of cyber resilience across the enterprise.

  • Enhanced training and integration: Comprehensive training programs and the inclusion of specialists to bridge gaps in cyber recovery knowledge. This allows teams to have the skills needed for the evolving cyber landscape.
  • Cultural and operational shift: A move toward a more integrated and collaborative operational model is essential. This involves:
    • Rethinking roles and responsibilities to merge IT operations with security and data governance efforts.
    • Instituting new communication protocols to foster a shared commitment to cyber resilience.
  • Strategic team formation: The creation of cross-functional teams or dedicated roles aimed at cyber recovery and resilience, tasked with:
    • Establishing what constitutes a “clean” recovery state, led by security with input from IT and data teams.
    • Implementing recovery actions and maintaining the recovery environment improves readiness for both planned tests and unforeseen cyber incidents.

This integrated approach provides a unified, strategic response to cyber threats and is crucial for navigating the complexities of cyber incident preparation and recovery. Finally, it underlines the importance of a collaborative culture that spans IT, security, and data domains.

Investment Outlook

The CIO’s investment in the Commvault solution should be viewed through a strategic lens, focusing on its core value proposition—protecting and maintaining the ability to fully recover business operations. This is less about the speed of recovery and more about having confidence that the recovery won’t worsen matters by restoring corrupted data and infrastructure. Ultimately, cost must be balanced against potential losses that could arise from operational interruptions caused by cyber incidents.

This investment is key to:

  • Enhance IT infrastructure resilience against cyber threats, ensuring uninterrupted business operations.
  • Manage upfront costs through efficient implementation and focused training programs, leading to improved TCO.
  • Achieve long-term financial benefits by preventing costly data breaches and minimizing downtime, thus justifying the initial expenditure.

6. Solution Timeline

A detailed and carefully phased implementation timeline is critical to ensuring that the introduction of Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery aligns with business operational cycles and minimizes potential disruption to the organization. This timeline can be informed by a readiness assessment from Commvault and accompanied by a bespoke roadmap for implementation.

Plan, Test, Deploy

The shift from traditional data recovery to a holistic cyber resilience framework requires careful thought and strategic vision. A carefully staged plan is vital to success.


  • Strategic assessment: Start evaluating the organization’s cybersecurity posture and data recovery mechanisms. This step aligns technological solutions with business objectives and regulatory requirements, a key CIO responsibility.
  • Integration blueprint: Craft an integration plan that considers technological compatibility and aligns with long-term business growth and digital transformation goals.


  • Scenario-based drills: Execute cyberattack simulations tailored to the organization’s risk profile to assess solution effectiveness in real-world scenarios. This proactive approach mirrors the CIO’s role in anticipating and preparing for future challenges.
  • Operational testing: Conduct actual operational testing in advance of an incident to proactively uncover, find, and fix inevitable issues when recovering applications and data.
  • Process optimization: Utilize insights from testing to refine and enhance recovery strategies. This step embodies the CIO’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation in cybersecurity measures.


  • Seamless implementation: Deploy the solution with an emphasis on minimizing operational disruption. Follow established change management processes, reflecting the CIO’s mandate to enable business continuity.
  • Iterative improvement: Establish a feedback loop for ongoing refinement, leveraging data analytics to inform strategic decisions and optimize the organization’s cyber resilience posture.

Future Considerations

For infrastructure executives integrating Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery, understanding the evolving cyber resilience landscape over the next three years is crucial. This period will see rapid advancements in cyber recovery technologies, spurred by new cyber threats and changing regulations. Commvault’s roadmap, with a focus on leveraging AI and machine learning for enhanced threat analysis and automated recovery, promises to refine infrastructure resilience and operational continuity.

The convergence of data protection, recovery, and cybersecurity highlights the necessity for infrastructure executives to assess their provider’s ability to deliver infrastructure strategies that align with future technological and regulatory developments, reinforcing the organization’s cyber resilience framework.

7. Analyst’s Take

The primary objective of security and infrastructure teams is to mitigate risk and outages. Traditionally, we use backup and recovery to do this. However, in the case of security incidents, restoring from backup may restore compromised accounts and software to the same state that they were in when compromised. Cleanroom is the only solution that can mitigate this, by combining restoration of data with a new (and thus clean) foundation free from compromise. This restores operations without restoring the compromised state.

Organizations must decide what has more value, returning to operations or enabling forensics investigation. Cleanroom resolves this conflict by returning to operations and maintaining the forensic integrity of the compromised system.

We are in the early stages of what Cleanroom can offer, and I am excited to follow the technology and see how it evolves. Commvault’s rapid release schedule will add features and capabilities to the technology, quickly increasing value to customers. It will also allow customers to improve recovery potential to encapsulate more of the application and data estate over time.

8. Report Methodology

This GigaOm CxO Decision Brief analyzes a specific technology and related solution to provide executive decision-makers with the information they need to drive successful IT strategies that align with the business. The report is focused on large impact zones that are often overlooked in technical research, yielding enhanced insight and mitigating risk. We work closely with vendors to identify the value and benefits of specific solutions, and to lay out best practices that enable organizations to drive a successful decision process.

9. About GigaOm

GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

GigaOm works directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Our analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises.

GigaOm’s perspective is that of the unbiased enterprise practitioner. Through this perspective, GigaOm connects with engaged and loyal subscribers on a deep and meaningful level.

10. Copyright

© Knowingly, Inc. 2024 "CxO Decision Brief: Harnessing Commvault Cloud Cleanroom Recovery for Cyber Resilience and Business Continuity" is a trademark of Knowingly, Inc. For permission to reproduce this report, please contact