Aparavi Announces File Protect & Insight – Helps With Third Drawer Down

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Victoria Grey (CMO), Darryl Richardson (Chief Product Evangelist), and Jonathan Calmes (VP Business Development) from Aparavi regarding their File Protect and Insight solution. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember I’m quite a fan of Aparavi’s approach and have written about them a few times. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the announcement here.

 

FPI?

The title is a little messy, but think of your unstructured data in the same way you might look at the third drawer down in your kitchen. There’s a bunch of stuff in there and no-one knows what it all does, but you know it has some value. Aparavi describe File Protect and Insight (FPI), as “[f]ile by file data protection and archive for servers, endpoints and storage devices featuring data classification, content level search, and hybrid cloud retention and versioning”. It takes the data you’re not necessarily sure about, and makes it useful. Potentially.

It comes with a range of features out of the box, including:

  • Data Awareness
    • Data classification
    • Metadata aggregation
    • Policy driven workflows
  • Global Security
    • Role-based permissions
    • Encryption (in-flight and at rest)
    • File versioning
  • Data Search and Access
    • Anywhere / anytime file access
    • Seamless cloud integration
    • Full-content search

 

How Does It Work?

The solution is fairly simple to deploy. There’s a software appliance installed on-premises (this is known as the aggregator). There’s a web-accessible management console, and you configure your sources to be protected via network access.

[image courtesy of Aparavi]

You get the ability to mount backup data from any point in time, and you can provide a path that can be shared via the network to users to access that data. Regardless of where you end up storing the data, you leave the index on-premises, and search against the index, not the source. This saves you in terms of performance and speed. There’s also a good story to be had in terms of cloud provider compatibility. And if you’re looking to work with an on-premises / generic S3 provider, chances are high that the solution won’t have too many issues with that either.

 

Thoughts

Data protection is hard to do well at the best of times, and data management is even harder to get right. Enterprises are busy generating terabytes of data and are struggling to a) protect it successfully, and b) make use of that protected data in an intelligent fashion. It seems that it’s no longer enough to have a good story around periodic data protection – most of the vendors have proven themselves capable in this regard. What differentiates companies is the ability to make use of that protected data in new and innovative ways that can increase the value to that data to the business that’s generating it.

Companies like Aparavi are doing a pretty good job of taking the madness that is your third drawer down and providing you with some semblance of order in the chaos. This can be a real advantage in the enterprise, not only for day to day data protection activities, but also for extended retention and compliance challenges, as well as storage optimisation challenges that you may face. You still need to understand what the data is, but something like FPI can help you to declutter what that data is, making it easier to understand.

I also like some of the ransomware detection capabilities being built into the product. It’s relatively rudimentary for the moment, but keeping a close eye on the percentage of changed data is a good indicator of wether or not something is going badly wrong with the data sources you’re trying to protect. And if you find yourself the victim of a ransomware attack, the theory is that Aparavi has been storing a secondary, immutable copy of your data that you can recover from.

People want a lot of different things from their data protection solutions, and sometimes it’s easy to expect more than is reasonable from these products without really considering some of the complexity that can arise from that increased level of expectation. That said, it’s not unreasonable that your data protection vendors should be talking to you about data management challenges and deriving extra value from your secondary data. A number of people have a number of ways to do this, and not every way will be right for you. But if you’ve started noticing a data sprawl problem, or you’re looking to get a bit more from your data protection solution, particularly for unstructured data, Aparavi might be of some interest. You can read the announcement here.

Backblaze Announces Version 7.0 – Keep Your Stuff For Longer

Backblaze recently announced Version 7.0 of its cloud backup solution for consumer and business and I thought I’d run through the announcement here.

 

Extended Version History

30 Days? 1 Year? 

One of the key parts of this announcement is support for extended retention of backup data. All Backblaze computer backup accounts have 30-Day Version History included with their backup license. But you can now extend that to 1 year if you like. Note that this will cost an additional $2/month and is charged based on your license type (monthly, yearly, or 2-year). It’s also prorated to align with your existing subscription.

Forever

Want to have a more permanent relationship with you protection data? You can also elect to keep it forever, at the cost of an additional $2/month (aligned to your license plan type) plus $0.005/GB/Month for versions modified on your computer more than 1 year ago. There’s a handy FAQ that you can read here. Note that all pricing from Backblaze is in US dollars.

[image courtesy of Backblaze]

 

Other Updates

Are you trying to back up really large files (like videos)? You might already know that Backblaze takes large files and chunks them into smaller ones before uploading them to the Internet. Upload performance has now been improved, with the maximum packet size being increased from 30MB to 100MB. This allows the Backblaze app to transmit data more efficiently by better leveraging threading. According to Backblaze, this also “smoothes out upload performance, reduces sensitivity to latency, and leads to smaller data structures”.

Other highlights of this release include:

  • For the aesthetically minded amongst you, the installer now looks better on higher resolution displays;
  • For Windows users, an issue with OpenSSL and Intel’s Apollo Lake chipsets has now been resolved; and
  • For macOS users, support for Catalina is built in. (Note that this is also available with the latest version 6 binary).

Availability?

Version 7.0 will be rolled out to all users over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait, there are two ways to get hold of the new version:

 

Thoughts and Further Reading

It seems weird that I’ve been covering Backblaze as much as I have, given their heritage in the consumer data protection space, and my focus on service providers and enterprise offerings. But Backblaze has done a great job of making data protection accessible and affordable for a lot of people, and they’ve done it in a fairly transparent fashion at the same time. Note also that this release covers both consumers and business users. The addition of extended retention capabilities to their offering, improved performance, and some improved compatibility is good news for Backblaze users. It’s really easy to setup and get started with the application, they support a good variety of configurations, and you’ll sleep better knowing your data is safely protected (particularly if you accidentally fat-finger an important document and need to recover an older version). If you’re thinking about signing up, you can use this affiliate link I have and get yourself a free month (and I’ll get one too).

If you’d like to know more about the features of Version 7.0, there’s a webinar you can jump on with Yev. The webinar will be available on BrightTalk (registration is required) and you can sign up by visiting the Backblaze BrightTALK channel. You can also read more details on the Backblaze blog.

Random Short Take #23

Want some news? In a shorter format? And a little bit random? This listicle might be for you.

  • Remember Retrospect? They were acquired by StorCentric recently. I hadn’t thought about them in some time, but they’re still around, and celebrating their 30th anniversary. Read a little more about the history of the brand here.
  • Sometimes size does matter. This article around deduplication and block / segment size from Preston was particularly enlightening.
  • This article from Russ had some great insights into why it’s not wise to entirely rule out doing things the way service providers do just because you’re working in enterprise. I’ve had experience in both SPs and enterprise and I agree that there are things that can be learnt on both sides.
  • This is a great article from Chris Evans about the difficulties associated with managing legacy backup infrastructure.
  • The Pure Storage VM Analytics Collector is now available as an OVA.
  • If you’re thinking of updating your Mac’s operating environment, this is a fairly comprehensive review of what macOS Catalina has to offer, along with some caveats.
  • Anthony has been doing a bunch of cool stuff with Terraform recently, including using variable maps to deploy vSphere VMs. You can read more about that here.
  • Speaking of people who work at Veeam, Hal has put together a great article on orchestrating Veeam recovery activities to Azure.
  • Finally, the Brisbane VMUG meeting originally planned for Tuesday 8th has been moved to the 15th. Details here.

Pure//Accelerate 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Pure//Accelerate 2019.  My flights, accommodation, and conference pass were paid for by Pure Storage. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by Pure Storage for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as an attendee at Pure//Accelerate 2019. Apologies if it’s a bit dry but I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every attendee’s situation is different, I was paid by my employer to be at this event.

 

Saturday

My wife kindly dropped me at the airport. I flew Qantas economy class from BNE – LAX – AUS courtesy of Pure Storage. I had a 5 hour layover at LAX. I stopped at the Rolling Stone Bar and Grill in the Terminal 7 and had a breakfast burrito. It wasn’t the best, but anything is pretty good after the smell of airplane food. When I got to Austin I was met by a driver that Pure had organised. I grabbed my suitcase and we travelled to the Fairmont Austin (paid for by Pure) in one of those big black SUVs that are favoured by many of the limousine companies.

I got presentable and then went down to the hotel bar to catch up with Alastair Cooke and his wife Tracey, Matt Leib, Gina Minks, and Leah Schoeb. I had a gin and tonic, paid for by Alastair, and then took the hotel courtesy car to Austin City Limits with Matt to see Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. It’s not the sort of gig I’d normally go to, but I appreciate live music in most forms, the crowd was really into it, and it’s always great to spend time with Matt. Matt also very kindly paid for my entry to the gig and bought me a beer there (a 16oz can of Land Shark Lager). I had a second beer and bought one for Matt too.

 

Sunday

I hadn’t really eaten since LAX, so I hit up Matt to come to lunch with me. We went for a wander downtown in Austin and ended up on 6th Street at Chupacabra Cantina y Tacqueria. I had one of the West Coast Burritos, a huge flour tortilla stuffed with refried beans, green chilli rice, jack cheese, crispy potato, lettuce, tomato, onion and chicken Tinga filling. It was delicious. I also had two Twisted X Austin Lager beers to wash it down.

In the afternoon I caught up with Matt and Chris Evans in the hotel bar. I had 3 Modelo Especial beers – these were kindly paid for by Emily Gallagher from Touchdown PR.

The Tech Field Day people all got together for dinner at Revue in the hotel. I had 3 Vista Adair Kolsch beers, some shrimp gyoza, chilli wonton dumplings, and okonomiyaki. This was paid for by Tech Field Day.

 

Monday

On Monday morning I had breakfast at the hotel. This was a buffet-style affair and I had scrambled eggs, huevo rancheros, bacon, jalapeño sausage, charcuterie, salmon and cream cheese, and coffee. This was paid for by Pure Storage. I received a gift bag at registration. This included a:

  • Pure//Accelerate cloth tote bag;
  • Rocketbook Everlast notebook;
  • “Flash Was Only The Beginning” hardcover book;
  • Porter 12 oz portable ceramic mug;
  • h2go Concord 25 oz stainless steel bottle; and
  • 340g bag of emporium medium house blend cuvée coffee.

For lunch I had beef brisket, BBQ sauce and some green salad. I also picked up a Pure FlashArray//C t-shirt during the Storage Field Day Exclusive event.

Before dinner I had a Modelo in the hotel – this was paid for by Tech Field Day. We then attended an Analysts and Influencers reception at Banger’s. I had 3 beers there (some kind of Pilsner) and a small amount of BBQ. I then made my way over to Parkside on 6th Street for an APJ event. I had 4 Austin Limits Lagers there and some brisket and macaroni and cheese. I should have smoke-bombed at that point but didn’t and ended up getting my phone swiped from a bar. Lesson learnt.

 

Tuesday

I skipped breakfast in favour of some more sleep. For lunch I had beef tacos in the Analysts area. Dinner was an Analyst and Influencer and Executive Program reception at the hotel. I had 3 Modelo beers, some dumplings, and some beef skewers. I turned in relatively early as the jet-lag was catching up with me.

 

Wednesday

For breakfast we were in the Solutions Exchange area for a private tour of the Pure setup. I had a greasy ham, cheese and egg croissant, some fruit, and 2 coffees. After the keynote I picked up some Rubrik socks.

In the afternoon I took a taxi to the Austin PD to attempt to report my phone. I then grabbed lunch with Matt Leib at P. Terry’s Burger Stand downtown. I had a hamburger and a chocolate shake. Matt paid for this. Matt then paid for a ride-sharing service to the local Apple Store where I picked up a new handset. We then took another car back to the hotel, which Matt kindly paid for.

We had dinner at Banger’s with the remaining Tech Field Day crew. I had 3 Austin Beerworks Pearl-Snap beers, boiled peanuts, chilli fries, and jalapeño sausage. It was delicious. This was paid for by Tech Field Day. I then headed to Austin City Limits for the Pure//Accelerate appreciation party. Weezer were playing, and I was lucky enough to get a photo with them (big thanks to Stephen Foskett and Armi Banaria for sorting me out!).

I had 3 Landshark Lager beers during the concert. After the show we retired to the hotel bar where I had 2 more Modelo beers before calling it a night.

 

Thursday

On Thursday morning I ran into Craig Waters and Justin Warren and joined them for a coffee at Houndstooth Coffee (I had the iced latte to try and fight off the heat). This was paid for by Craig. We then headed to Fareground. I had a burger with bacon and cheese from Contigo. It was delicious. This was also paid for by Craig.

Returning to the hotel, I bumped into my old mentor Andrew Fisher and he bought me a few Modelos in the bar while re-booking his flights due to some severe weather issues in Houston. I then took a Pure-provided car service to the airport and made my way home to Brisbane via LAX.

Big thanks to Pure Storage for having me over for the week, and big thanks to everyone who spent time with me at the event (and after hours) – it’s a big part of why I keep coming back to these types of events.

Backblaze Has A (Pod) Birthday, Does Some Cool Stuff With B2

Backblaze has been on my mind a lot lately. And not just because of their recent expansion into Europe. The Storage Pod recently turned ten years old, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to chat with Yev Pusin and Andy Klein about that news and some of the stuff they’re doing with B2, Tiger Technology, and Veeam.

 

10 Years Is A Long Time

The Backblaze Storage Pod (currently version 6) recently turned 10 years old. That’s a long time for something to be around (and successful) in a market like cloud storage. I asked to Yev and Andy about where they saw the pod heading, and whether they thought there was room for Flash in the picture. Andy pointed out that, with around 900PB under management, Flash still didn’t look like the most economical medium for this kind of storage task. That said, they have seen the main HDD manufacturers starting to hit a wall in terms of the capacity per drive that they can deliver. Nonetheless, the challenge isn’t just performance, it’s also the fact that people are needing more and more capacity to store their stuff. And it doesn’t look like they can produce enough Flash to cope with that increase in requirements at this stage.

Version 7.0

We spoke briefly about what Pod 7.0 would look like, and it’s going to be a “little bit faster”, with the following enhancements planned:

  • Updating the motherboard
  • Upgrade the CPU and consider using an AMD CPU
  • Updating the power supply units, perhaps moving to one unit
  • Upgrading from 10Gbase-T to 10GbE SFP+ optical networking
  • Upgrading the SATA cards
  • Modifying the tool-less lid design

They’re looking to roll this out in 2020 some time.

 

Tiger Style?

So what’s all this about Veeam, Tiger Bridge, and Backblaze B2? Historically, if you’ve been using Veeam from the cheap seats, it’s been difficult to effectively leverage object storage to use as a repository for longer term data storage. Backblaze and Tiger Technology have gotten together to develop an integration that allows you to use B2 storage to copy your Veeam protection data to the Backblaze cloud. There’s a nice overview of the solution that you can read here, and you can read some more comprehensive instructions here.

 

Thoughts and Further Reading

I keep banging on about it, but ten years feels like a long time to be hanging around in tech. I haven’t managed to stay with one employer longer than 7 years (maybe I’m flighty?). Along with the durability of the solution, the fact that Backblaze made the design open source, and inspired a bunch of companies to do something similar, is a great story. It’s stuff like this that I find inspiring. It’s not always about selling black boxes to people. Sometimes it’s good to be a little transparent about what you’re doing, and relying on a great product, competitive pricing, and strong support to keep customers happy. Backblaze have certainly done that on the consumer side of things, and the team assures me that they’re experiencing success with the B2 offering and their business-oriented data protection solution as well.

The Veeam integration is an interesting one. While B2 is an object storage play, it’s not S3-compliant, so they can’t easily leverage a lot of the built-in options delivered by the bigger data protection vendors. What you will see, though, is that they’re super responsive when it comes to making integrations available across things like NAS devices, and stuff like this. If I get some time in the next month, I’ll look at setting this up in the lab and running through the process.

I’m not going to wax lyrical about how Backblaze is democratising data access for everyone, as they’re in business to make money. But they’re certainly delivering a range of products that is enabling a variety of customers to make good use of technology that has potentially been unavailable (in a simple to consume format) previously. And that’s a great thing. I glossed over the news when it was announced last year, but the “Rebel Alliance” formed between Backblaze, Packet and ServerCentral is pretty interesting, particularly if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution for compute and object storage that isn’t reliant on hyperscalers. I’m looking forward to hearing about what Backblaze come up with in the future, and I recommend checking them out if you haven’t previously. You can read Ken‘s take over at Gestalt IT here.

Brisbane VMUG – October 2019

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*Update – This meeting has now been moved to the 15th October. 

The October 2019 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting will be held on Tuesday 8th October at Fishburners (Level 2, 155 Queen St, Brisbane) from 4pm – 6pm. It’s sponsored by Rubrik and promises to be a great afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

  • VMUG Intro
  • VMware Presentation
  • Rubrik Presentation: Automating VM Protection in Rubrik with vSphere Tags (and other cool stuff….)
  • Q&A
  • Refreshments and drinks post-event.

Rubrik have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to hearing about their solution. After the VMUG wraps up at 6pm, feel free to come along to Brewbrik at The Pool Terrace & Bar on Level 4 at Next Hotel, Queen Street Mall (just down the road from Fishburners). Brewbrik is an informal get together of Rubrik customers, partners, prospects and general hangers-on. Rubrik will be shouting drinks and food. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

Random Short Take #22

Oh look, another semi-regular listicle of random news items that might be of some interest.

  • I was at Pure Storage’s //Accelerate conference last week, and heard a lot of interesting news. This piece from Chris M. Evans on FlashArray//C was particularly insightful.
  • Storage Field Day 18 was a little while ago, but that doesn’t mean that the things that were presented there are no longer of interest. Stephen Foskett wrote a great piece on IBM’s approach to data protection with Spectrum Protect Plus that’s worth read.
  • Speaking of data protection, it’s not just for big computers. Preston wrote a great article on the iOS recovery process that you can read here. As someone who had to recently recover my phone, I agree entirely with the idea that re-downloading apps from the app store is not a recovery process.
  • NetApp were recently named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Primary Storage. Say what you will about the MQ, a lot of folks are still reading this report and using it to help drive their decision-making activities. You can grab a copy of the report from NetApp here. Speaking of NetApp, I’m happy to announce that I’m now a member of the NetApp A-Team. I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with NetApp in terms of both my day job and the blog.
  • Tom has been on a roll lately, and this article on IT hero culture, and this one on celebrity keynote speakers, both made for great reading.
  • VMworld US was a little while ago, but Anthony‘s wrap-up post had some great content, particularly if you’re working a lot with Veeam.
  • WekaIO have just announced some work their doing Aiden Lab at the Baylor College of Medicine that looks pretty cool.
  • Speaking of analyst firms, this article from Justin over at Forbes brought up some good points about these reports and how some of them are delivered.

Pure Storage Expands Portfolio, Adds Capacity And Performance

Disclaimer: I recently attended Pure//Accelerate 2019.  My flights, accommodation, and conference pass were paid for by Pure Storage. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by Pure Storage for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Pure Storage announced two additions to its portfolio of products today: FlashArray//C and DirectMemory Cache. I had the opportunity to hear about these two products at the Storage Field Day Exclusive event at Pure//Accelerate 2019 and thought I’d share some thoughts here.

 

DirectMemory Cache

DirectMemory Cache is a high-speed caching system that reduces read latency for high-locality, performance-critical applications.

  • High speed: based on Intel Optane SCM drives
  • Caching system: repeated accesses to “hot data” are sped up automatically – no tiering = no configuration
  • Read latency: only read performance is affected – no changes to latency
  • High-locality: only workloads that reuse often a dates that fits in the cache will benefit
  • Performance-Critical: high-throughput latency sensitive workloads

According to Pure, “DirectMemory Cache is the functionality within Purity that provides direct access to data and accelerates performance critical applications”. Note that this is only for read data, write caching is still done via DRAM.

How Can This Help?

Pure has used Pure1 Meta analysis to arrive at the following figures:

  • 80% of arrays can achieve 20% lower latency
  • 40% of arrays can achieve 30-50% lower latency (up to 2x boost)

So there’s some real potential to improve existing workloads via the use of this read cache.

DirectMemory Configurations

Pure Storage DirectMemory Modules plug directly into FlashArray//X70 and //X90, are inserted into the chassis, and are available in the following configurations:

  • 3TB (4x750GB) DirectMemory Modules
  • 6TB (8x750GB) DirectMemory Modules

Top of Rack Architecture

Pure are positioning the “top of rack” architecture as a way to compete some of the architectures that have jammed a bunch of flash in DAS or in compute to gain increased performance. The idea is that you can:

  • Eliminate data locality;
  • Bring storage and compute closer;
  • Provide storage services that are not possible with DAS;
  • Bring the efficiency of FlashArray to traditional DAS applications; and
  • Offload storage and networking load from application CPUs.

 

FlashArray//C

Typical challenges in Tier 2

Things can be tough in the tier 2 storage world. Pure outlined some of the challenges they were seeking to address by delivering a capacity optimised product.

Management complexity

  • Complexity / management
  • Different platforms and APIs
  • Interoperability challenges

Inconsistent Performance

  • Variable app performance
  • Anchored by legacy disk
  • Undersized / underperforming

Not enterprise class

  • <99.9999% resiliency
  • Disruptive upgrades
  • Not evergreen

The C Stands For Capacity Optimised All-Flash Array

Flash performance at disk economics

  • QLC architecture enables tier 2 applications to benefit from the performance of all-flash – predictable 2-4ms latency, 5.2PB (effective) in 9U delivers 10x consolidation for racks and racks of disk.

Optimised end-to-end for QLC Flash

  • Deep integration from software to QLC NAND solves QLC wear concerns and delivers market-leading economics. Includes the same evergreen maintenance and wear replacement as every FlashArray

“No Compromise” enterprise experience

  • Built for the same 99.9999%+ availability, Pure1 cloud management, API automation, and AI-driven predictive support of every FlashArray

Flash for every data workflow

  • Policy driven replication, snapshots, and migration between arrays and clouds – now use Flash for application tiering, DR, Test / Dev, Backup, and retention

Configuration Details

Configuration options include:

  • 366TB RAW – 1.3PB effective
  • 878TB RAW – 3.2PB effective
  • 1.39PB RAW – 5.2PB effective

Use Cases

  • Policy based VM tiering between //X and //C
  • Multi-cloud data protection and DR – on-premises and multi-site
  • Multi-cloud test / dev – workload consolidation

*File support (NFS / SMB) coming in 2020 (across the entire FlashArray family, not just //C)

 

Thoughts

I’m a fan of companies that expand their portfolio based on customer requests. It’s a good way to make more money, and sometimes it’s simplest to give the people what they want. The market has been in Pure’s ear for some time about delivering some kind of capacity storage solution. I think it was simply a matter of time before the economics and the technology intersected at a point where it made sense for it to happen. If you’re an existing Pure customer, this is a good opportunity to deploy Pure across all of your tiers of storage, and you get the benefit of Pure1 keeping an eye on everything, and your “slow” arrays will still be relatively performance-focused thanks to NVMe throughout the box. Good times in IT isn’t just about speeds and feeds though, so I think this announcement is more important in terms of simplifying the story for existing Pure customers that may be using other vendors to deliver Tier 2 capabilities.

I’m also pretty excited about DirectMemory Cache, if only because it’s clear that Pure has done its homework (i.e. they’ve run the numbers on Pure1 Meta) and realised that they could improve the performance of existing arrays via a reasonably elegant solution. A lot of the cool kids do DAS, because that’s what they’ve been told will yield great performance. And that’s mostly true, but DAS can be a real pain in the rear when you want to move workloads around, or consolidate performance, or do useful things like data services (e.g. replication). Centralised storage arrays have been doing this stuff for years, and it’s about time they were also able to deliver the performance required in order for those companies not to have to compromise.

You can read the press release here, and the Tech Field Day videos can be viewed here.

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

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and you’ll probably see the content elsewhere on the Internet. Druva provided no editorial input and the words and opinions in this post are my own.

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).

VMware – VMworld 2019 – Wrap-Up And Link-O-Rama

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2019 – US.  My flights and accommodation were paid for by Digital Sense, and VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by VMware for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

A quick post to provide some closing thoughts on VMworld US 2019 and link to the posts I did during the event. Not in that order. I’ll add to this as I come across interesting posts from other people too.

 

Link-o-rama

Here’s my stuff.

Intro

VMware – VMworld 2019 – See you in San Francisco

Session Notes

VMware – VMworld 2019 – Monday General Session Notes

VMware – VMworld 2019 – HCI2888BU – Site Recovery Manager 8.2: What’s New and Demo

VMware – VMworld 2019 – HBI2537PU – Cloud Provider CXO Panel with Cohesity, Cloudian and PhoenixNAP

VMware – VMworld 2019 – HBI3516BUS – Scaling Virtual Infrastructure for the Enterprise: Truths, Beliefs and the Real World

VMware – VMworld 2019 – HBI3487BUS – Rethink Data Protection & Management for VMware

Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2019

NetApp, Workloads, and Pizza

Apstra’s Intent – What Do They Mean?

Disclosure

VMware – VMworld 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

 

Articles From Elsewhere (And Some Press Releases)

VMworld 2019 US – Community Blog Posts

Other Tech Field Day Extra Delegates

A Software First Approach

Is VMware Project Pacific ‘Kubernetes done right’ for the enterprise?

General Session Replays

See the General Session Replays

NSX-T

NSX-T 2.5 – A New Marker on the Innovation Timeline

VMware Announces NSX-T 2.5

VMware Tanzu

Introducing VMware Tanzu Mission Control to Bring Order to Cluster Chaos

VMware Tanzu Completes the Modern Applications Picture

VMware Announces VMware Tanzu Portfolio to Transform the Way Enterprises Build, Run and Manage Software on Kubernetes

Project Pacific

Introducing Project Pacific

Project Pacific – Technical Overview

Project Pacific: Kubernetes to the Core

Workspace ONE

VMware Unveils Innovations Across Its Industry-Leading Workspace ONE Platform to Help Organizations Grow, Expand and Transform Their Business

vRealize

Announcing VMware vRealize Automation 8.0

vRealize Automation 8 – What’s New Overview

Announcing VMware vRealize Operations 8.0

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.0 – What’s New

VCPP

VMware Enables Cloud Providers to Deliver the Software-Defined Data Center From any Cloud

VCF

Introducing VMware Cloud Foundation for Cloud Providers

Accelerating Kubernetes Adoption with VMware PKS on Cloud Foundation

Announcing VMware Cloud Foundation and HPE Synergy with HPE GreenLake

Extending Composable Hybrid Cloud for Workload Mobility Use Cases

 

Wrap-up

This was my fourth VMworld US event, and I had a lot of fun. I’d like to thank all the people who helped me out with getting there, the people who stopped and chatted to me at the event, everyone participating in the vCommunity, and VMware for putting on a great show. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) getting along to it again in 2020 (August 30 – September 3).