Scale-out storage vendor ExaGrid looks to continue momentum with Nutanix

ExaGrid recently unveiled a new top-of-the-line appliance, and entered into a Nutanix-focused parternshp with data protection provider HYCU.

Marc Crespi, ExaGrid’s Vice-President Systems Engineering, NORAM

NEW ORLEANS — Scale-out secondary storage provider ExaGrid, fresh off a recently-announced partnership with fellow Nutanix vendor partner, HYCU, was at the Nutanix .NEXT event here, communicating their message to Nutanix customers and partners that ExaGrid’s hyperconverged architecture is a great fit for their Nutanix solutions.

“ExaGrid is a Nutanix Ready partner, and has been partnered with them for quite a while,” said  Marc Crespi, Vice-President Systems Engineering for North America at ExaGrid. “We work with a variety of backup application vendors in Nutanix applications.” This includes a joint certified solution with Nutanix and Veeam, to facilitate seamless Veeam backing up VMs on Nutanix to ExaGrid, as well as relationships with Veritas and Commvault. It also includes a new alliance with HYCU, announced in February, to provide a joint backup-application-to-backup-storage solution for Nutanix. The technology partnership with HYCU is accompanied by a multi-pronged co-marketing strategy, which includes customer and reseller events, webinars, and a variety of direct educational media.

“We are good partners with HYCU, and already have joint customers with them,” Crespi said.

ExaGrid’s scale-out architecture features a landing zone that holds full copies of the most recent backups. It provides an instant recovery capability that makes data rehydration unnecessary, and makes restores and VM boots as fast as reading from disk.

“Another key differentiation for us is that we avoid forklift upgrades when we enhance solutions,” Crespi said. “We don’t end-of-life products, so customers can spend capital budget on adding new capacity, not on just replacing what they already have. We have architected for very high speeds, which we achieve with spinning disks. Flash is a great fit for primary storage, but in the backup realm, it drives costs up. We have relied on spinning disks, and will continue to do so, because it allows us to maintain a high value at a reasonable price.”

The company continues to post strong momentum, outperforming the storage market as a whole. They posted record Q1 bookings and revenue, and grew at a rate of 20 per cent over the same quarter in 2017.

“The company has grown in double digits every year, allowing us to become a major player in the market where customers are fed up with first-generation approaches to the storage problem,” Crespi said.

They recently introduced a new top-end appliance, the  EX63000E appliance, which has 58 per cent more capacity than its predecessor, and allows for a 63TB full backup with the potential to scale up to 2 PB in a full array of 36 appliances.

“We are developing denser and denser building blocks,” Crespi said.

Exagrid has a strong enterprise play up to the Global 2000 level, where they compete against both traditional disk backup providers like Dell EMC Data Domain and HPE StoreOnce, as well as newer companies like Cohesity and Rubrik.

“Cohesity and Rubrik are really going after the backup applications and they have to drag storage as part of it,” Crespi said. “We partner with the backup vendors and we think that combination is more cost- effective.”

ExaGrid goes to market through a 100 per cent channel strategy, and with what is a large channel compared to many of the other focused vendors who cover their space.

“The number of partners is in the thousands, and includes companies like CDW, national resellers, and regional resellers, down to resellers who serve the mid-market,” Crespi said. “We are in most regions around the globe – in Europe and Asia Pacific as well as North America.”

Crespi said that .NEXT had been excellent for communicating ExaGrid’s ability to handle the secondary storage requirements of the Nutanix customer.

“The public clouds are not a good solution for primary backup at all, because of the cost of getting the data out,” he stated. “However, Nutanix is also teaching us that the on-prem world isn’t going away any time soon.”