Datrium announces cloud-native Cloud DVX for backup and recovery for AWS

Datrium is offering its backup and DR recovery for the AWS cloud as basically a managed service, where the customer works through the Datrium interface and doesn’t have to learn the intricacies of managing AWS.

Datrium Cloud DVX interface

LAS VEGAS — Server-powered storage array vendor Datrium has announced the availability of Datrium Cloud DVX, which provides cloud-native backup and recovery for VMs backing up to the AWS cloud.

Datrium was founded in 2012, with the founders coming from Data Domain and VMware, and their product reached general availability in February 2016.  The 4.0 version of the product came out last month, and this is part of the 4.0 release.

“When the product first shipped we talked a lot about server-powered flash,” said Craig Nunes, Datrium’s VP of Marketing. “We have grown from then into a new take on converged infrastructure, taking HCI into more scalable Tier 1 deployment for enterprises.”

While Datrium has some similarities to the HCI vendors in not relying on dedicated storage, they see a fundamental difference between themselves and the HCI players, because they provide for separate scaling of CPU power and storage capacity. Adding speed thus does not require adding capacity.

“It’s easy to compare our architecture to HCI,” Nunes said. “HCI brought primary storage into the server and scaled out as you grow. The challenge with turning every server into a storage node is that when you protect data, you get very chatty nodes, and servers now become points of failure. We leverage hosts for compute power and keep storage software on the host, putting durable capacity out on the network in a shared way, so each host is stateless but still can scale.”

Datrium competes against both the all-flash vendors and the HCI vendors and their Datrium DVX offering has elements of both

“We are kind of a cross between HCI and all-flash,” Nunes said. “We converge virtual hosts with storage technology. Like ExtremeIO, we run apps out of flash, but in a server rather than across a SAN, so we have lower latency and much lower costs. We bring the benefits of all flash by shifting to the host, and if you look at scale-out, that’s the heart of our model.”

The product has also evolved in the short time since its inception.

“Our first product at the beginning of last year was aimed at the commercial market with a lower selling price,” Nunes said. “It was a ‘bring your own server’ offering, where we sold a data node for the low end of the midrange market, and priced it around $50,000-60,000. Over the last year, we have added powerful cloud data management capabilities, plus Datrium-branded compute nodes for turnkey simplicity, plus we added scale-out capacity of data nodes. So we have augmented the product with capabilities for enterprise. We aren’t leaving the commercial market behind, but we have a strong enterprise value proposition for folks who feel stranded on arrays.”

The new Cloud DVX capability extends the backup and replication features of the DVX solution into the AWS cloud.

“In April 2017, we introduced full backup and replication capabilities in the product, capable of supporting 2000 snapshots per VM, and fully searchable,” Nunes said. “What we have done with Cloud DVX is extend that to the cloud native instance of DVX or AWS.”

The DVX data stored in the AWS cloud is also significantly compressed.

“The public cloud hasn’t grown to the degree people expected because of the cost,” Nunes said. “To be successful in the public cloud, you have to have incredible capabilities in data reduction. That’s something our founders bring to the table. We let customers store data in the public cloud that is half the size of competing alternatives on S3, and that keeps costs to a minimum.”

Cloud DVX is also set up to be managed as a turnkey service.

“Many of our beta customers are in their first engagement with AWS, and some are taken away by the complexity of managing it,” Nunes said. “We manage the service and provide proactive support for the customer.”

“We have made this capability as close to as a service as possible,” said Tushar Aggrawal, Datrium’s Director of Product Management. “The customer just interacts with the Datrium product.”

Datrium goes to market through a 100 per cent channel strategy.

“Half the team came from Data Domain,” Nunes said. “When Data Domain was acquired, a lot of the go-to-market people went to Nimble Storage – and now they have come here. We are very channel oriented. We have about 130 authorized partners, half of whom were active last quarter.”

Nunes said that Datrium offers several advantages to the channel.

“Channel partners have a great run rate on the $50,000-60,000 range but can hunt for larger deals,” he noted. “When a partner sells a Datrium data node, they can also add SSDs, installation and assessment services. For partners looking for something new to get back into an account, even if the customer has made an HCI decision, this lets them do that, because this is beyond HCI. So it’s very interesting for partners who missed the HCI bus.”

Nunes indicated that Datrium’s initial partner base was heavily concentrated on innovative resellers who like to present innovative new approaches to customers. Since then, they have broadened out and now have relationships with CDW, SHI, and Softchoice.

“These partners have such great sales and marketing augmentation for companies like us,” Nunes said.

Support for both the Google and Azure clouds are on Datrium’s roadmap.

“We started with AWS because they have a huge presence<” Aggrawal said. “The plan is to get it right with AWS with both backup and DR and then repeat that model on Google and Azure. That’s the roadmap for 2018.”