Aparavi adds direct-to-cloud data transfer and data classification and search enhancements to Active Archive platform

Aparavi, which came out of stealth a year ago, plays in the multi-cloud data management space.

Jon Calmes, Vice President of Business Development at Aparavi

Multi-cloud data management provider Aparavi has announced major enhancements to their Active Archive platform. Key ones include a new direct-to-cloud data transfer option, more advanced data classification, tagging, and search capabilities, and new provisions for bulk data migration across clouds.

“Before we archive data, we define policies with classification engines, and the changes are how we classify data, said Jon Calmes, Vice President of Business Development at Aparavi. “We are refining the core of what we do at this stage.”

Aparavi came out of stealth nearly a year ago, in May 2018.  Their senior leadership team came from NovaStor, a long-time player in the backup space, and the two companies have the same corporate parent, NovaVision. Aparavi was created to design a SaaS platform that would provide long-term data retention in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. The data is used for compliance, historical reference, and analysis.

“We brand it as Active Archive, but the space we play in is really data management,” said Victoria Grey, Aparavi’s Chief Marketing Officer.

The new features include a new direct-to-cloud capability to archive data directly from source systems to the cloud destination of choice.

“Previously, we required an on-prem software appliance that was used to temporarily hold archive data while it was being sent to the cloud,” Calmes said. “Now you can archive to the cloud from the software appliance, or can move from a file server or NAS or endpoint without the data being held on the appliance, but the appliance will still store a dictionary file. Customers asked for this as an option.” It significantly decreases the on-premises storage and compute requirements, greatly simplifies set up, and removes the need for a dedicated software appliance.

Support for new bulk migration to move data easily from one location to another has also been added.

“This makes it easier to migrate between cloud providers,” Calmes said. “This was possible before, but it was hidden and the bulk migration option wasn’t as easy as now. The default was more of a trickle migration.”

The number of the cloud providers supported has also increased, with BackBlaze B2 and the Oracle Cloud being announced now, and the Azure Cloud having just been announced recently. These join AWS, Caringo, Cloudian, IBM Cloud, Scality, and Wasabi.

“Google Cloud hasn’t been announced yet, but it will be available in a few weeks,” Calmes said. “We will then be opened to all of the public cloud providers and many of the private cloud ones.”

Aparavi already had advanced data classification and tagging capabilities to classify data with great precision based on individual words, phrases, dates, file types, and patterns.

“We have now added the capability to add customizable taxonomies, using specific words, phrases, patterns, or meta-data  in addition to the preset classifications for ‘legal’, ‘confidential’ and ‘PII’,” Calmes said. “We focus on regulated industries because they are low hanging fruit, but because of customizable taxonomies, higher education has become a market for us. They hold student data for many, many years because it helps them in fundraising.”

Search capabilities have also been refined, with a key addition being the ability to search by patterns, and not only by word.

“This is something that customers specifically wanted,” Calmes said. Results are returned intelligently in context for easier identification, and are viewed in the cloud or storage destination without retrieving until requested. Current file types supported include any text file, PDF, and modern Microsoft Office formats. Future updates will add images and older Microsoft Office formats.

Active Data pruning, which automatically removes data, including file increments, based on retention policies, now enables access to archived data for use outside of Aparavi through Open APIs.

“We will evolve this further in 2019,” Calmes said.

Aparavi’s plan is to eventually transition to a channel-led sales model, but Calmes said they are still too early in the startup stage for that.

“As a startup, a pure channel model doesn’t make sense yet, so we still sell direct as well as through channel partners,” he said. “Well over half of our partners are service providers who use us to add to their portfolio. They are primarily focused on mid-sized enterprises. We also work with MSPs, who serve smaller customers than the service providers, so aren’t a conflict with them.” The business is primarily focused on the U.S., with some business in EMEA.

Strategic partnerships are an increasingly important part of the go-to-market strategy.

“We have jointed all the big platforms, and are working with AWS and Google to get on their marketplaces shortly,” Grey said. “We are working closely with Backblaze and Wasabi – up and comers. We’ve trained a number of their people to know more about how our platform works.”