Aparavi emerges from stealth with SaaS platform for mid-market long term data retention

The Aparavi leadership team is largely made up of executives from NovaStor, a classic legacy backup player, who got frustrated with the problems created by traditional data protection.

Santa Monica-based Aparavi has officially emerged from stealth, with a multi-tier SaaS platform designed to address the needs of midmarket customers for long term data retention. Their technology includes several innovative aspects, including what they call Cloud Active Data Pruning, which removes data at the moment its retention policy expires, removing bloated storage.

“Our view is that data protection has not changed for years, and that there has to be a better way to manage the cloud,” said Jonathan Calmes, Apavari’s VP of Business Development. “The average corporation holds data for 7-10 years, and current data protection solutions have contributed to this bloated storage. Traditional enterprise backups are incredibly complex so users tend to go rogue for the cloud.”

Aparavi’s focus on providing innovation in the data retention space is ironic given that three of the company’s top four executives come from NovaStor, a legacy player in the space never known as an innovator at all. In addition to Calmes, Rod Christensen, the CTO and Adrian Knapp, the Chairman, also have a NovaStor pedigree. The outlier is VP of Product Jay Hill, who spent more of his career before this with Informatica than with any other company.

“Adrian is also the Chairman of NovaStor,” Calmes said. “We are not the same company, but have the same owner, NovaVision.”

Calmes said that NovaStor’s history led the principals at Aparavi to try and do things differently.

“Not a lot of innovation has come out of NovaStor,” he said. “That’s why we set up a new company which we think provides a solution to the problem. We are a breakout team tired of legacy backup because we have seen it done wrong. NovaVision was innovative enough that the corporate board let us leave to do this thing. Our investment comes from outside of the NovaStor bubble as well. We have no real connection except sharing the same chairman. Our product is something we have been working on the last couple years – a SaaS platform for long term data retention in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.”

Calmes described Aparavi as a maker of a niche software application designed to work alongside business continuity solutions for midmarket specifically.

“Large enterprises typically have money and resources to do this with more expensive tools like Commvault,” he said. “The midmarket can’t afford these or some newer ones from startups, which are well into the six figures. The midmarket is being forced to be more innovative.”

Aparavi has a three-tiered architecture – a hosted platform, a software appliance, and a source client. Together they facilitate movement of data between local and cloud storage, minimally impacting workload, while balancing network and bandwidth concerns.

“The hosted Web platform is Communication HQ,” Calmes said. “It stores no data. It’s the management, which orchestrates reporting, alerts, and provisioning. The software appliance is the middle layer, and can be in the cloud or on prem, and either physical or virtual. It’s the relationship manager for storage and data movement. The clients are temporary locations for immediate recovery, when you don’t want to go to the appliance or cloud to get your data back.”

Calmes highlighted multiple innovative aspects of the Aparavi architecture.

“Our patented Point-in-Time Recovery is unique because we can recover data from any combination of storage – local or cloud, public or private – without you ever having to know WHERE your data was,” he said.

“Our Cloud Active Data Pruning is a new technology,” Calmes stated. “It will automatically remove files and portions of files that you don’t need from cloud locations – at the moment their retention under policy expires. That’s importance for compliance. This will be especially important for MSPs because current solutions have bloated their storage.”

Multi-Cloud Agile Retention lets you switch from one cloud to another at any point,” Calmes said. “You can recover data from the old cloud, while putting new and changed data in the new one. Over time the data in the old cloud will continue to shrink because of the cloud active data pruning, and eventually will be completely removed. This also ends duplication of data across clouds.”

Aparavi is published in Open Data Format.

“Publishing our data format in open source means that a reader will be available, because other tools can read us,” Calmes said. “Even our competitors will have access to it.”

Aparavi is fully multi-tenanted, and was developed in consultation with major MSPs in the health care vertical as well as large telcos. They have a simple UI, and a policy engine that uses a file exclusion list and inclusion list, making it easy to apply compliance. Search is by folder name or file name. Built-in auditing and reporting capabilities shows who has made changes to policies, and who has recalled data. Storage analytics show how much data is being saved by pruning, and how much of the data is being changed. Full RESTful API tie it all together.

Aparavi can be used on all supported Windows platforms and  most major Linux distros, including Ubuntu and Red Hat. They use the Amazon Simple storage API, support Google Cloud and are building support for OpenStack Oracle and Azure. Vendor partners include Wasabi HGST, Cloudian and Scality, and they are doing joint marketing with Wasabi.

Licensing is based on protected source data, not on space taken up by copies.

“That’s very good for MSPs because it saves them a lot on cloud storage,” Calmes said. “It is also good for end users because there are no surprises.”

The first TB of storage is free. After that, it’s $999 a year for 3 TB – or .03 per GB per month.