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Druva NAS backup aims for cheaper, smarter protection

The Druva Cloud Platform now features NAS support that can automatically tier to cold storage and exclude data that doesn't need protection, cutting down on costs.

"NAS backup has always been a challenge for everybody," said Stephen Manley, chief technologist at Druva.

With its cloud-based, integrated backup and archive for NAS systems, Druva is hoping to simplify and speed up that process.

The cloud data protection vendor claims the new NAS support provides backups that are five times faster than what it previously offered. Druva NAS also includes intelligent tiering and storage insights.

The NAS functionality is included within Druva's Phoenix product. The storage insights and recommendations require at least the product's enterprise tier.

Druva NAS backup takes advantage of cloud

For years, the backup industry was heavily disk-oriented. Backup and NAS vendors were in a battle because they were putting data on the same kind of media, Manley said. In addition, the volume and concentration of data were pain points.

With the cloud, though, vendors can solve problems together.

"The cloud gives us a dramatically less expensive option," Manley said. It also provides off-site backup and simpler management.

The 500% performance improvement covers backups to a warm storage tier for short-term recovery needs.

Screenshot of Druva NAS
Users of Druva's NAS backup functionality can edit retention policies.

Tiering capabilities include automatically moving data to cold storage for long-term retention. The infrequent access tier protects large data sets that organizations must keep but don't need to recover often.

The Druva NAS backup also features file-level insights and customizable recommendations to exclude unnecessary data from backups and archives, reducing storage costs.

The cloud gives us a dramatically less expensive option.
Stephen ManleyChief technologist, Druva

While Druva has been backing up NAS for several years, this new offering streamlines reads and has a better understanding of systems and data, Manley said. While the vendor used to back up to just Amazon S3, with the improved data insight, Druva NAS backup can tier to Amazon Glacier for less frequently accessed data.

Optimization is an Achilles' heel for NAS backup, said Naveen Chhabra, senior analyst at Forrester. He said reducing the backup window, speeding up backups like Druva is doing, and improving recovery capabilities in data centers, across data centers and across public clouds can help the process.

"It's time for vendors to be looking at possible optimizations on NAS devices," Chhabra said.

How the NAS backup market looks

Unstructured data, a quickly growing source, is a focus of the Druva NAS backup.

There's broad interest across industries that need long-term data retention, including financial services, pharmaceutical, bioengineering, medical and manufacturing, Manley said.

Chhabra said Commvault, Veeam, Veritas and Dell are top competitors. Dell EMC Avamar and Data Domain offer solid on-premises NAS backup for customers that can afford them and are not ready for the cloud yet, Manley said. He said Druva intends to compete with lower cost and better data optimization.

Chhabra pushed for vendors to provide more information on improvements because customers want to know details.

Potential enhancements in the Druva NAS support include further speeding up backups and helping customers understand their exposure to ransomware and their GDPR compliance level.

"We're just scratching the surface on the analytics piece," Manley said.

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