Datrium unveils SaaS-based CloudShift orchestration service that complements core Datrium DVX HCI backup and DR platform

The new Datrium CloudShift offering provides a more focused and reliable alternative than VMware SRM for deployments using Datrium’s stack.

Datrium, which makes a hybrid cloud infrastructure platform that converges primary and backup data to facilitate backup, replication and disaster recovery, has announced CloudShift. It’s a new SaaS-based orchestration service that complements both their DVX HCI platform, and Cloud DVX, a  cloud version of the same offering that backs up to the AWS cloud as essentially a turnkey managed service.

“This is a complementary SaaS service offering for VMs that runs on our hyper-converged on-prem DVX platform,” said Brian Biles, Datrium’s Chief Product Officer, and one of the company’s co-founders. “It also complements the Cloud DVX that we introduced in April. Backup is one of the places from which you can get images for a restart in case of a disaster. CloudShift handles the orchestration process for doing that, making sure that that the IP addresses are right, and that VMs start in the right order – all the things that are part of that process.”

VMware’s SRM [Site Recovery Manager] provides the same capabilities, but Biles said that it is too overarching to be really useful.

“We have an adapter for SRM, but its problem is that it touches every element in the data centre and needs adapters for everything. It winds up creating too much complexity, and as a result, creates a process that is too prone to fail. That is why we developed this to overcome that issue. CloudShift is for our stack specifically, so we can do all the verifications that it will work properly all the time.”

Biles said that Datrium will be demonstrating CloudShift with VMware’s blessing and support at VMworld at the end of the month.

“VMware welcomes CloudShift, because it makes cloud orchestration with our software more efficient,” he said. “It also helps with on-demand failover for DR into the AWS cloud. On-demand DVR is ideal, because you don’t have to pay for it all year, but just when you use it. Historically, however, the cost of getting data back and forth, has stopped it from taking off. For DR as a service, the high cost of egress, and even maintaining the bandwidth have been issues. If you want aggressive SLAs for failover, you need a big link and a lot of resources on the cloud to make it run.  Because we have great efficiency on the cloud data side, we will be in this really great position to help VMware do an on-demand DR system that’s very low cost.”

Datrium’s core DVX technology is similar to the HCI vendors in not relying on dedicated storage, but is fundamentally different in a key way because it facilitates separate scaling of CPU power and storage capacity, so that adding speed does not require adding capacity. CloudShift is deeply integrated with the DVX converged primary and backup data stack, and uses AWS’ serverless computing approach to further simplify operations for the end user.

“VMware is really just our initial use case for CloudShift,” Biles stated. “Over time, it will be on other clouds, and for other kinds of virtualization, but VMware is the biggest virtualization vendor, and the VMware cloud is a fantastic opportunity to show how this simplifies the whole orchestration process.”

Out of the gate, Datrium is targeting backup and other less aggressive SLAs, because cost is critical there.

“Our approach is to start on that part of the market,” Biles said. “If there are other parts where people are willing to pay more for the bandwidth, we will look at an infrastructure to make that work going forward.”

Datrium sells entirely through channel partners, and Biles said that the channel sees the value in the new offering.

“Wherever a customer has pain, partners are eager to listen to options that are out there, especially new options that emerge in the market,” he indicated. “For partners, a big challenge for a lot of them is getting in front of customers with topics people want to hear about – not old things. They want things that solve an obvious problem like this fragile DR infrastructure. This is a great option for both customers and partners, which does it without dragging in new complexities and inordinate cost. And for partners it adds a new recurring revenue model which attaches subscription revenue to these kinds of products. That’s big for them.”

Biles also noted that Datrium Cloud DVX has done extremely well since its inception.

“We began shipping Cloud DVX for backup in April, and have had a terrific uptake on that,” he said. “About 40 per cent of systems we sold in the second quarter were equipped with cloud DVX for backup.”