Druva targets server backup to the cloud with Phoenix

Endpoint/BYOD backup specialist Druva aims at the remote office market with Phoenix for server backup to the cloud

endpoint backup specialist Druva has announced the launch of Phoenix, a cloud-focused backup module for fixed hardware. The move marks Druva’s first foray into backing up physical assets, but is aimed at smaller environments, such as remote offices.

Phoenix is an agent-based backup product that copies data to a local storage cache to the cloud and can be used as a component of Druva’s inSync endpoint backup product.

The cloud as a target is a key focus of the Phoenix release, allowing for primary or nearline access as well as so-called cold storage in Amazon’s Glacier service – all handled with centralised management via Druva’s nCube cloud file system.

Phoenix comes with governance and compliance features for the backed-up data, such as archiving, search and recall functions.

Druva can carry out backups on source operating systems including Windows, some Linux distributions, Android and, to a limited extent, iOS.

The Druva environment uses global data deduplication and claims up to 80% data reduction ratios. Data from all sources backed up is compared to existing information and duplicate blocks replaced with a marker.

Druva has been a pioneer in endpoint and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) backup, but Phoenix marks Druva’s first move into the backup market for fixed devices.  

The move is an interesting one, as to date customers have had to go to different suppliers to back up different parts of their environments.

Since the rise of the BYOD, there has been no mainstream backup software maker able to protect the datacentre and employee handheld endpoints. Meanwhile, Druva has ploughed a lonely furrow as the key supplier of BYOD/endpoint backup.

The launch of Druva’s Phoenix may mark a move towards convergence of datacentre and endpoint backup, meaning customers in future may be able to standardise on one backup product for all data sources.

The announcement comes in the same week as Veeam, a specialist in virtual machine backup, announced a free module that allows physical devices to be protected.

The company has “a longer-term vision to go after the datacentre,” said product marketing director Dave Packer.

In theory, said Packer, there is no reason a customer could not use Phoenix to back up a datacentre-sized environment, but at present Druva is aiming at the branch and remote office market with the emphasis on the cloud as backup target.

“There’s a lot of competition in the datacentre,” said Packer, “and for now we see a real opportunity in remote offices.”

The focus on the cloud as a target may be an impediment to the success of Phoenix as most organisations still don’t plan to use the cloud for backup.

Another factor holding Druva back from mainstream datacentre backup is that its products are not compatible with VMware or Microsoft virtual machines. That is a major impediment to datacentre adoption as most organisations have a substantial percentage – often a majority – of servers virtualised.

Backing up virtual servers via one agent per physical box is possible but leads to bottlenecks in backup traffic because many virtual machines reside on one server, often to a much higher level of utilisation than is the case with purely physical servers.

Virtual machine backup capability is planned for January 2015, said Packer.

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