The backup space, about which I’ve written many times, is changing. This blog post will explain one of the major shifts in the space (toward the cloud and the SaaS model), as well as how this shift has been recognized in the latest Forrester Wave Data Resiliency, Q3 2019.
Legacy technologies, like tape, are seeing their market share shrink in favor of newer technologies that leverage more modern approaches to not only back up your data, but also to give state of the art benefits to how that data is stored, what infrastructure is required to accomplish this, and the ability to leverage that data in an environment that gains value from the insights provided by reporting on that data.
To me, the best approaches involve the least amount of care and maintenance to ensure that the backups take place, and are consistently recoverable. There are a number of approaches within today’s technology that make this viable, the goal of maintaining these backups, with a minimum of infrastructure layout, and maintenance (read: Manpower) to support makes for a very compelling model. There are a couple models that require literally no additional hardware (disc, tape, management servers on-prem), and leverage a SAAS model not only for the management components, but also for the disc required for your backups. In this case, Druva (clearly a leader in this space) has differentiated itself. The customer deploys nothing onsite. The Druva environment in AWS will scale up or down as required by the backup or restore needs of the moment. As the backup demands more (or less) server horsepower, then Druva on AWS will provision more (or fewer) management servers throughout the day. Since Druva uses S3 to store customer data, there is also no need to provision additional storage as your backup needs grow.
Contrast that model to traditional backup infrastructure, which required infrastructure servers acting as media processors, which would in turn push data to be backed up toward the tape devices, which were often libraries consisting of many tape drives and robotic armature. These were quite expensive, and often required quite a bit of regular maintenance. Should the decision be made to perform an upgrade for the tape infrastructure, it would be critical that the entire data set be copied to the new infrastructure, as well as requiring some of the old infrastructure to be maintained in an effort to be able to recover data from older version tapes. Logistically, this is a nightmare.
The modern-day architecture involves backup to disc, but with a management layer that eases the operation of backup, recovery, and testing – all in easily implemented management. Some players involve a converged appliance, where the processing power in the device is dedicated to managing the environment, and the control of the metadata associated with that data.
Druva takes a model of running the entire backup environment in the cloud, while backing up datacenters, cloud resources (e.g. AWS), SaaS (e.g. Office365), and endpoints. The Software as a Service (Saas), model, is fully scalable (and again automatically accomplished due to their mechanisms) puts all the required infrastructure on AWS, including VMs, constainers, databases, and storage. Customer backups data is stored in S3, and DynamoDB holds the metadata. By running everything in their AWS account (instead of yours, like the competitors), the can do all that at a constant predictable cost – without the up and down costs of AWS like egress charges.
And apparently, I’m not the only one who recognizes Druva as an important offering in the backup and recovery space. In Forrester’s most recent report, Forrester Wave Data Resiliency, Q3 2019, they’ve identified Druva as a Strong Performer in the space. The shift away from traditional backup and towards newer ways of doing backup is also confirmed by comparing the same report from just two years ago. These are the two wave graphics from the 2017 and 2019 Forrester Wave Data Resiliency. With one exception, the traditional vendors have all moved farther away from a leadership position. Products (like Druva) that developed modern methods of data protection are moving to the head of the pack.
This type of validation of the product is a huge vote in the affirmative for Druva, a company that’s not previously been recognized by the analyst community as a big contributor to this key arena as some of the more legacy type brand solutions. To me, I feel that this affirmation only validates my own opinion, as I’ve been watching Druva for a while now, and completely agree. Should I be building a solution for my own environment, or were I to be architecting DR for one of my customers, I would surely be remiss to look at the space, and not truly evaluate the SaaS model that Druva has developed, and feel it would prove itself favorably.
For a link to the report, please follow this link