Druva deepens AWS solution set with multi-tier intelligent storage, enhanced DRaaS

The multi-tiered storage tiering system for the AWS cloud covers all layers of AWS storage, including S3, Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive, with Druva moving the data either by its own policies or ones set by the customer.

Druva’s Intelligent Tiering Dashboard

Cloud data protection provider Druva has made a pair of announcements related to their strategic partnership with AWS. One is an industry-first, an intelligent, storage tiering system for the AWS cloud, with support across all layers of AWS storage, including S3, Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive. The other is an enhancement of their Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service [DRaaS] offering for enterprise workloads on AWS, to add new capabilities for a fully hybrid environment.

“We are the only company that is able to do orchestrated management of storage tiers in the AWS cloud,” said Mike Palmer, Druva’s Chief Products Officer. This involves the ability to tier data optimally across all layers of AWS storage, including S3, Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive.

“We are distinct here because we are the only SaaS player built completely on the AWS cloud, who treat all of the data as cloud data, so data resides in the optimal tier at a particular time,” Palmer said. “Others treat the AWS cloud as an archive tier attached to on-prem storage. In that sense, we do the same function that traditional tiered storage has done on-prem for many years – except that the customer had to actually move that data themselves. With AWS, we give the customer either a blended price that sets what data will be put in what tier, with Druva actually managing the data for them. Or we provide the option of allowing the customer to set their own policies on tiers, to get discrete pricing.”

Palmer emphasized that there are no egress charges for moving data around.

“They are built into the pricing model, so we effectively cover all the egress charges,” he said. “For long-term storage, there are retention requirements of over a year to get the pricing. But the variability is gone for the customer once they have purchased within our system.”

Druva believes that this tiered option within AWS will have broad appeal that will expand their TAM significantly.

“We think that customers in the 500 seat and above segment, all the way up to the largest of large enterprises, are targets,” Palmer said. “The larger the company, the more the benefit that they will experience from this system.”

The other announcement is the enhancement of the Druva DRaaS offering for enterprise workloads, which utilizes the AWS cloud architecture to provide backup, disaster recovery, archive and analytics, with elastic scalability.

“In March, we announced the ability to have a workload recovered in AWS by our DRaaS service,” Palmer said. “With this announcement, we are now adding features for a fully hybrid environment.”

A key addition here is new support for hybrid workload failback, like VMware Cloud on AWS or on-premises data centers.

“The ability to failback to on-premise gives a hybrid capability that was not there before,” Palmer said.

Another new feature here is the ability to recover data within a Virtual Private Cloud, and to clone these across AWS regions or accounts.

“You now have full cloud-to-cloud capability, and region to region with the AWS cloud,” “Palmer said. “So you can recover from on-premises to cloud, and within regions in AWS, which you couldn’t do before.

The third major innovation is the addition of built-in automated runbook orchestration, automation of failover compliance testing and efficient failback.

“This provides fully automated recovery,” Palmer said. “Premises-based software products require target environments, so they have to take downtime or maintenance windows to do orchestrated recovery. In the cloud that’s not required. This automatically tests and reports the ability to recover, to demonstrate its success.” Druva claims a lower TCO of up to 50 per cent with this compared with on-premises solutions.

While Druva originally sold direct, they now have a hybrid model in which channel partners provide a majority of new customers.

“Our channel partners grow with us for a couple reasons,” Palmer said. “As an annuity business, when we sell to a customer we have very high net retention rate. Our partners are paid year over year, as opposed to a traditional sale, so they have the ability to tap revenues and stay engaged. This makes them better advisors and more involved in their customers’ day-to-day use of technology.

“The channel also understands adoption rates for providers like AWS,” Palmer added. “We let partners offer a service on AWS without being a reseller on AWS. They can partake in this through Druva.”

Palmer also emphasized how the Druva product improves security resilience.

“Partners today are confronted with challenges from the rise of ransomware,” he said. “We are end-to-end encrypted, and air-gapped in the way that tape once was, so it gives extra resiliency in case of a ransomware attack.”

Finally, Palmer emphasized that partners are able to offer customer built-in storage reduction costs with this.

“Cloud storage pricing has had a five-year CAGR of minus 60 per cent,” he said. “So partners are able to offer pricing decreases every year.”