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Druva Data Management as a Service: Ideal for VMware Partners?

Timm Hoyt

Druva has launched Druva Cloud Platform, a Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) platform that allows partners and customers to mange and safeguard data across endpoint, infrastructure and cloud applications.

Druva is looking to work with all types of partners, but there is a distinct opportunity here for VMware partners that are migrating customer workloads from on-premises systems to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Indeed, roughly 90 percent of organizations will adopt VMware production environments in the cloud by 2018, a Druva survey found.

Moreover, 47 percent of survey participants are moving those workloads to AWS, while 25 percent are going to Azure. Now, toss in the fact that VMware Cloud on AWS is expected to launch during or shortly after VMworld 2017 (later this month), and the opportunity becomes even clearer for partners.

“We are seeing a dramatic acceleration of the planning of organizations in terms of the adoption of cloud VMware production environment," says Timm Hoyt, VP of global channel sales. "This is the big surprise to the industry."

Protecting VMware Workloads: Opportunity and Challenges

Amid those workload shifts, Druva wants partners to safeguard VMware data -- no matter where it resides. “Data protection must be rethought," Hoyt says. "It must be retooled and a new approach is required. Some of the statistics indicate that they understand the value of offering a cloud-to-cloud solution, a SaaS solution.”

Accordingly, Druva’s new solution fills exactly that niche -- and more. The idea is to protect VMware VMs in the cloud, across multiple clouds or in a hybrid model.

Still, the company will face plenty of challengers. For example, Veeam is widely known as a VMware backup and data protection leader. Instead of launching its own cloud service, Veeam depends on third-party CSPs and MSPs to deploy and manage its data protection platforms for customers.

Admittedly, both Druva and Veeam serve far more than VMware partners and customers. But the VMware ecosystem seems like a potential battleground considering Druva's cloud research focus and Veeam's installed base.

Where Partners Fit In

Of course, most traditional resellers provide on-premises solutions. The acceleration towards cloud has left a number of these resellers wondering how to participate in the new landscape.

“This presents a fantastic opportunity and it also creates a threat,” he says. According to Hoyt, Druva’s solution allows resellers to pivot and bridge the gap.

Druva is also counting on a market shift from appliance-based backup solutions to a pure cloud approach. Plenty of vendors debate that point. Among the key examples: Fast-growing Datto continues to promote appliance-based backup to the Datto cloud. Also, Carbonite recently launched new EVault appliances that back up to the cloud. And Infrascale has been winning some big MSP business lately (stay tuned for more on that).

Still, Druva Chief Marketing Officer Matt Morgan says his company is the only player that offers data protection as a service while other appliance-based solutions serve more as a stop-gap. “We’re not treating the cloud as a dumping ground,” he says. “We’re treating it as the primary. So we give you a solution that doesn’t require a server at all.”

But here again, there are some potential rivals. Arcserve, for instance, recently acquired Zetta -- which claims to offer rapid cloud-based backup and recovery without the need for on-premises appliances.

Regardless of the potential rivalries, Druva is showing plenty of its own momentum. More than half of Druva’s business currently comes from the channel, according to Hoyt, with channel-based revenues growing 200 percent year-over-year. “Druva took a strong stance that it wanted to have a strong channel-first go-to-market (strategy),” he says.

How Druva Works

One problem with legacy systems is the silo-based infrastructure, Morgan says. With traditional solutions, it becomes difficult to have end-to-end visibility for compliance regulations and other legal mandates.

“Typically you have to buy a third party solution to try and overlay all these silos,” says Morgan. “With Druva, it’s in the box. We treat the data set as one continuous data set for the entire company. So whether I’m backing up one or two or I’m backing up a hundred, I have end-to-end visibility as one continuous data set. And that gives me unparalleled flexibility.”

So far, that flexibility extends across AWS and Azure. We’ll be keeping an eye on how actively channel partners engage with Druva’s solution.

Additional insights and perspectives from Joe Panettieri.