Druva relies on OpenStack for new endpoint data protection platform

But Druva's CEO also sees room for improvement with OpenStack

Druva chose to build the new private cloud edition of its inSync endpoint data protection using OpenStack because of its object storage functionality, but the increasingly popular cloud platform still needs to improve in some key areas, according to CEO Jaspreet Singh.

The growing amount of backup and file sharing data that has to be stored by enterprises today represents a real challenge for IT departments, according to Druva. For CIOs who want to keep the data in-house, the problem is exasperated by on-premises storage that hasn't kept pace with public cloud architectures for cost, scale and availability, it said.

The company hopes to change that with the new OpenStack-based version of inSync, which lets enterprises build a private cloud behind the firewall that can be used for automated backup of desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

OpenStack's Swift object storage allows enterprises to deploy inSync on commodity hardware and easily scale storage capacity. Files can be written to multiple disk drives as well as replicated to new locations in the cluster for high availability, according to Druva.

But while those capabilities made Druva choose OpenStack, there is still room for a lot of improvement. For example, the company offers its own management tools.

"The OpenStack management isn't as mature as what vCloud Director offers, and that is a challenge that has to be solved in the future. ... It has to be much more robust and much more automated," Singh said.

Other areas that need to mature to help propel wide adaption, include the compute fail over and fail-back functionality, and a more robust NoSQL database layer, according to Singh. So there are a couple of core challenges that Druva is now trying to go around, but they will be solved sometime in the future, Singh said.

The growing interest in OpenStack will help speed up the development.

"When we started to talk about OpenStack with some very large accounts we were actually surprised by the number enterprises that have started using it or have tried it," Singh said.

As Druva's software can be used to back up data stored on all types of clients, it has in the last five years seen the changes in what type of devices enterprises use.

"During the first three years of our existence it was mostly Windows laptops. But in the last two years there has been a sea change; Macs have become a must in a lot of large enterprise because the senior staff use them. These days iPhones and Android is also always part of the discussion," Singh said.

The inSync platform -- which also offers secure file sharing and data loss protection -- can also be deployed on-premises, in a public cloud and or as a proprietary private cloud. The company charges per user and the number of features a company wants to use, and the cost starts at about US$4 per month.

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