Aparavi pivots with new data management platform with Azure and Microsoft CSP focus

Today, Aparavi, which came out of stealth in 2018 with a platform to provide data retention and then use the data for compliance and analysis in multi-cloud and hybrid environments, is announcing the General Availability of a new platform. Aparavi, The Platform, has a shift in emphasis from the original platform, which had some limitations in being conceived as the ecosystem of a backup platform. Aparavi, the Platform, has a broader focus on high level data intelligence and automation software. It is also tightly wedded to Microsoft. It is available exclusively on the Microsoft Azure marketplace, and Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers will be their primary channel route to market.

While both the new platform and the old are SaaS-based and focused around data management, they are significantly different.

“We are really moving from the data protection space to data intelligence and automation,” said Gary Lyng, Aparavi’s CMO. Aparavi’s senior leadership came out of heir senior leadership team came from NovaStor, a long-time player in the backup space, so approaching the issue from a backup perspective had a logic to it. It also had some limitations, however.

“Our old product is still in existence but will be phased out, and the customers will be migrated over to the new platform,” said Darryl Richardson, Chief Product Evangelist at Aparavi. “We learned a lot. Originally we had a backup mindset and while we built that platform to overlap discovery, data protection, and intelligent archiving, it was still more of a backup tool. With more complex patterns, we would run into problems with missing data that wasn’t in the original classification rules.”

The new platform is better equipped to deal with issues of complexity and scale. It enables data discovery with automated classification, data optimization, including removal, and easy migration to alternate data stores such as on-premise storage or major clouds – not just Azure. It triggers action based on  lifecycle, access requirement, content, risk level, regulatory policy, and hundreds of other criteria.

“The policies have everything needed to detect all relevant rules,” Richardson said. “With the platform architecture, all the data is stored into the Aparavi aggregator in the Azure cloud, but it can be deployed in any cloud on any VMs and then stored in a broad range of destinations, in what amounts to an Aparavi Data Lake.” The data in the lake is made visible and usable with sophisticated search, index and classification functionality.

“Data-driven decision making is the key,” Richardson said. “Very few providers really let the data drive the decision-making process. This is completely automated to do that. It gives access to all of the data without ever touching the files. It also allows for optimization of storage placement, both to reduce costs, and to protect data which is specifically identified as having risks.”

“It can significantly reduce the cost of traditional backup and replication environments, because the data is now in an accessible archive without egress or ingress fees,” Lyng pointed out. “Customers will be able to save money as well as gain new insights.”

Reference customers include AO Smith, a manufacturer of home appliances, which had 30 years of fragmented unstructured data stemming from multiple acquisitions. They used Aparavi to reconcile 40 different storage devices with policy-driven data retention, with easy discovery for compliance requirement, and reduced complexity and costs from data management. Another reference customer, eDiscovery services firm Modus, uses Aparavi as a white-labelled Waste Data management service, which identifies superfluous ROT files and removes them without deleting anything that needs to be retained for compliance.

Aparavi has sold through a hybrid Go-to-Market model, and has a channel and a partner program. The Microsoft partnership will make the Microsoft CSP channel critical going forward, however.

“By design, our strategy will be working very close with the Microsoft Azure team and marketplace,” Lyng said. “Microsoft has their CSP program with 400 plus members. Our primary channel is thus with Microsoft first and their CSPs, and we will be developing business plans with CSPs. The relationship and the GTM capabilities were the key in going with Microsoft. The platform is multi-tenanted so a Microsoft CSP can deploy it with multiple end users. And an end user can go to the Azure marketplace today and try it out for free.”

The channel Go-to-Market is very much around use cases like data governance, compliance, CCPA, or verticals like health care and financial services.

“We will be adding more data types going forward, including new data sources like email, which opens up additional workloads, commercial IoT, and being able to take advantage of containers,” Lyng added.

While Aparavi announced an early access program earlier this year for customers and strategic partners, now that the new platform is in General Availability, anyone can access Aparavi on the Azure Marketplace and try out the Platform ‘Starter’ release. It supports up to 5 TBs or 5 million files with one classification policy.