Independent Research Firm Cites Druva As A Strong Performer in latest Data Resiliency Solutions Wave

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Druva was among the select companies that Forrester invited to participate in their latest Data Resiliency Solutions Wave, for Q3 2019. In its debut for this report, Druva was cited as a Strong Performer in Data Resilience. I recently had an opportunity to speak to W. Curtis Preston, Druva’s Chief Technologist, about the report, and thought I’d share some of my thoughts here.

 

Let’s Get SaaS-y

Druva was the only company listed in the Forrester Wave™ Data Resiliency Solutions whose products are only offered as a service. One of the great things about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is that the vendor takes care of everything for you. Other models of solution delivery require hardware, software (or both) to be installed on-premises or close to the workload you want to protect. The beauty of a SaaS delivery model is that Druva can provide you with a data protection solution that they manage from end to end. If you’re hoping that there’ll be some new feature delivered as part of the solution, you don’t have to worry about planning the upgrade to the latest version; Druva takes care of that for you. There’s no need for you to submit change management documentation or negotiate infrastructure outages with key stakeholders. And if something goes wrong with the platform upgrade, the vendor will take care of it. All you need to worry about is ensuring that your network access is maintained and you’re paying the bills. If your capacity is growing out of line with your expectations, it’s a problem for Druva, not you. And, as I alluded to earlier, you get access to features in a timely fashion. Druva can push those out when they’ve tested them, and everyone gets access to them without having to wait. Their time to market is great, and there aren’t a lot of really long release cycles involved.

 

Management

The report also called out how easy it was to manage Druva, as Forrester gave them their highest score 5 (out of 5) in this category. All of their services are available via a single management interface. I don’t recall at what point in my career I started to pay attention to vendors talking to me about managing everything from a single pane of glass. I think that the nature of enterprise infrastructure operations dictates that we look for unified management solutions wherever we can. Enterprise infrastructure is invariably complicated, and we want simplicity wherever we can get it. Having everything on one screen doesn’t always mean that things will be simple, but Druva has focused on ensuring that the management experience delivers on the promise of simplified operations. The simplified operations are also comprehensive, and there’s support for cloud-native / AWS resources (with CloudRanger), data centre workloads (with Druva Phoenix) and SaaS workloads (with Druva inSync) via a single pane of glass.  Although not included in the report, Druva also supports backing up endpoints, such as laptops and mobile devices.

 

Deduplication Is No Joke

One of Forrester’s criteria was whether or not a product offered deduplication. Deduplication has radically transformed the data protection storage market. Prior to the widespread adoption of deduplication and compression technologies in data protection storage, tape provided the best value in terms of price and capacity. This all changed when enterprises were able to store many copies of their data in the space required by one copy. Druva uses deduplication effectively in its solution, and has a patent on its implementation of the technology. They also leverage global deduplication in their solution, providing enterprises with an efficient use of protection data storage. Note that this capability needs to be in a single AWS region, as you wouldn’t want it running across regions. The key to Druva’s success with deduplication has been also due to its use of DynamoDB to support deduplication operations at scale.

 

Your Security Is Their Concern

Security was a key criterion in Forrester’s evaluation, and Druva received another 5 – the highest score possible – in that category as well. One of the big concerns for enterprises is the security of protection data being stored in cloud platforms. There’s no point spending a lot of money trying to protect your critical information assets if a copy of those same assets has been left exposed on the Internet for all to see. With Druva’s solution, everything stored in S3 is sharded and stored as separate objects. They’re not just taking big chunks of your protection data and storing them in buckets for everyone to see. Even if someone were able to access the storage, and put all of the pieces back together, it would be useless because all of these shards are also encrypted.  In addition, the metadata needed to re-assemble the shards is stored separately in DynamoDB and is also encrypted.

 

Thoughts

I believe being named a Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave™ Data Resiliency Solutions validates what Druva’s been telling me when it comes to their ability to protect workloads in the data centre, the cloud, and in SaaS environments. Their strength seems to lie in their ability to leverage native cloud tools effectively to provide their customers with a solution that is simple to operate and consume. If you have petabytes of seismic data you need to protect, Druva (and the laws of physics) may not be a great fit for you. But if you have less esoteric requirements and a desire to reduce your on-premises footprint and protect workloads across a number of environments, then Druva is worthy of further consideration. If you wanted to take a look at the report yourself, you can do so here (registration required).

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