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Cloud-era backup appliances aim at hybrid content platform

While traditional backup apps evolve to meet the cloud via S3 and Azure, a new breed of backup appliances aims to build a single environment across cloud and on-premise

When we looked at “traditional” backup applications and how they had evolved for the cloud era, we found a range of approaches, from more or less simply adding the cloud as a target, to those surrounded by more comprehensive software platforms.

A newer development in backup is a revamp of the backup appliance approach, and here we see relative newcomers Rubrik, Cohesity and Arcserve providing products with a single file system/object store that can run across on-premise and cloud locations.

It is all based on S3 and Azure connectivity, but it goes beyond cloud as a target. It is more a unified content environment in which data protection occurs and from which disaster recovery restores can be run, analytics carried out , and so on. These products are converging with the likes of Veritas, which started very much as a traditional backup product.


Rubrik Cloud Data Management combines backup, recovery, replication, analytics, archival and copy data management under a single platform.

Rubrik is built for the cloud and comes as a virtual appliance that can be supplied in approved hardware and scales-out like Hyper-converged infrastructure.

Approved appliance hardware – in a four-node cluster – comes from Cisco, HPE or Dell and can house flash and HDD capacity up to 160TB.

Rubrik is built around its “cloud-scale” distributed file system, and offers a Google-like predictive search engine for data analytics on backup and archived data. There is backup for a wide range of physical and virtual platforms, as well as specific applications such as Oracle, NoSQL databases and SAP Hana.

It can backup to AWS with S3 and to Azure public clouds, with cloud-to-cloud backup possible, including for Microsoft Office 365 with Azure storage as a target.

This comes alongside Rubrik’s Polaris SaaS (software as a service) platform, which provides a single view of all an organisation’s data across on-prem and cloud locations.


Cohesity also aims to put all your data in one place. Not literally, but to make it visible across on-prem and cloud locations which can be deployed via the Cohesity Data Platform on physical appliances, virtual appliances on VMware, and in Amazon S3-supported public clouds.

Cohesity’s platform is built around DataProtect backup, with its DataPlatform bringing together file (NFS/SMB) and object (S3) storage, underpinned by its SpanFS distributed file system, with global indexing and search, data deduplication, clones and snapshots.

Cohesity nodes come on approved HPE and Cisco server hardware, as well as in its C-prefixed hyper-converged nodes, which run up to about 180TB capacity per node.

A single view of all data is provided by Cohesity’s Helios add-on platform. This allows customers to manage data under control of DataPlatform software, whether on-premise or in the public cloud. Helios enables customers to view and search secondary data, make global policy changes and perform upgrades through a single dashboard.


The Arcserve Business Continuity Cloud, launched last October, brings together the company’s unified data protection with replication and high availability, and Arcserve backup.

It integrates backup, disaster recovery, HA and email archiving under a cloud-based management console.

Protection spans a range of source systems, from Unix and x86 to virtual workloads to public and private clouds, with support for multi-cloud and cross-cloud data protection.

Arcserve can backup to AWS via S3 or Azure cloud storage and can failover to, and run, applications in the public cloud should an outage occur.

Revamped hardware – the Arcserve Appliance Series – is released this month and can handle data deduplication and data management like a standard backup appliance. They can also act as a disaster recovery to spin up copies of physical or virtual systems locally or in a cloud. Storage capacity is up to 504TB.

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