Druva Phoenix: Not your usual cloud backup services

Endpoint data protection company Druva thinks it has a more efficient take on cloud backups and archives.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Cloud backup companies are a dime a dozen. You've got, to name but a few, Amazon, Microsoft, CTERA, Riverbed, EMC, IBM, F5, Twinstrata, Barracuda, and ZettaNet. So, why should you consider Druva, a company best known for its endpoint data protection, with its new Phoenix cloud backup service? I'll tell you why.

Druva Phoenix Not your usual cloud backup services

The company claims that Druva Phoenix "eliminates tape, off-site storage, complexity and 70 percent of the costs of managing server backup, archiving, retention and recovery. Phoenix unifies hot, warm and cold backup and archiving processes and administration for the first time, offers unlimited retention unavailable from any other cloud backup provider, and performs backups and restores 20 times faster than other solutions to ensure that organizations meet their recovery objectives and minimize business impact."

Well that certainly sounds good. We all know that the old Iron Mountain server backup model with its backup to secondary storage, tape and then finally long-term off-site archiving was an extremely cumbersome process and prone to error rates as high as 20 percent. But, what does Druva have that other cloud backup companies don't? It's Data Deduplication technology.

With deduplication, duplicate data is deleted, leaving only one copy, a single instance, of the data to be stored. The data indexing is still retained; so if you really needed, say, instance 27 of 100 otherwise identical 1 MB e-mail attachments, you can still restore the unique message with its copy of the attachment.

This gives you two wins. First, even as cloud storage costs go ever lower, when you're talking long-term business storage you can still be talking about petabytes of data and that's not cheap no matter how low the prices go. The other cost, both in terms of dollars and time, is bandwidth. It's a lot faster to store and restore over the Internet when you only have to deal with, say, 1 MB of e-mail attachments rather a 100MBs of attachments.

Another nice feature here is that because Phoenix uses a centralized cloud console, you don't need IT staff — who may or may not even exist — at your remote offices working with multiple layers of backups. You can backup and archive the Brooklyn office's records from San Francisco with a few clicks of a mouse rather than calling up the accountant/IT guy and asking him to check the tape.

IT hours, even part-time IT staffers, are expensive hours. With Phoenix you can save some employee cash.

What all this adds up to in Druva Phoenix's feature list is:

Unified backup and archiving: Phoenix’s integrated approach to hot, warm and cold backup and archiving makes legacy multi-tier systems as well as the use of tapes and off-site storage obsolete. Ever-incremental backups remove the need for companies to manage periodic full backups, and all processes are centrally managed from a single console, dramatically reducing IT overhead.

Massive data retention and faster recovery: Druva’s global deduplication optimizes storage so that organizations can store almost limitless recovery points and archive and retain their data for as long as decades, if required to meet regulatory and compliance mandates.

Up to 20X faster backups: Phoenix delivers direct-to- cloud backup and restore speeds of 100Mbps – 20 times faster than other solutions by using object storage coupled with parallelized data transfers. It can realize up to 1Gbps-effective WAN throughput with the added efficiencies provided by Druva’s global deduplication. Sites with large data sets, limited bandwidth or demanding recovery time objectives (RTOs) can utilize Phoenix CloudCache, an on-site soft appliance that provides hot LAN-speed backups and restores via local caching with staggered transfers to the cloud to free up real-time bandwidth.

Trusted public cloud infrastructure: The use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) ensures that customer data is maintained in today’s highest rated and most secure public cloud infrastructure .

For the bottom line, Druva claims you'll get 70 percent cost savings over the expense of tape, secondary storage and IT backup and recovery management by centralizing policy and administrative management of hot, warm and cold storage in the cloud.

This new approach to cloud backup is working out well for customers. Early adopters are seeing immediate benefits. In a statement, Jose Ortiz, lead systems administrator at government IT subcontractor TechFlow said, "We knew we wanted to move our backup to a cloud solution, and Phoenix offered critical advantages like unlimited archiving, no need to pay for backing up the same data over and over, centralized management of all processes, and the use of Amazon AWS as a back-end. We are eliminating a lot of manual processes, reducing errors, and doing restores in a few hours versus the few days it used to take to get a tape back from our outside vault. It’s much more efficient and very easy to administer."

So, if you're looking to replace your old data backup and archive systems with a lean, mean efficient cloud backup system. Phoenix's pricing starts at 60 cents per gigabyte per month. After you look at Druva's total cost of ownership estimates I think you'll see that's a fair price for a Web-managed do-it-all, long-term backup and archive system.

Still not sure? Try it out for yourself with a 30-day free trial. Druva's betting that on day 31 you'll be ready to sign a contract.

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