Does the World Need Another Cloud Backup Provider?

Druva, backed by $67 million in venture capital, is seeking to revolutionize cloud-based backup services. I've heard a similar vision statement from dozens of companies -- from A (Axcient) to Z (Zetta). But Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh tells After Nines Inc. that he's built a better mouse trap. It's called Druva Phoenix, and it's taking flight today.

Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh: @JaspreetIS

Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh: @JaspreetIS

Druva already has momentum in the endpoint backup and data protection market. Despite being a startup, Druva has a blue chip list of customers -- everyone from Dell to NASA and Xerox. Now along comes Phoenix, which claims to eliminate 70 percent of server backup management costs.

During call with After Nines Inc. earlier this week, Singh said Phoenix offers backup speeds that are 20 times faster than many rivals. The direct-to-cloud backup and restore performance is 100Mbps, he said, because it leverages object storage in tandem with parallelized data transfers.

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

I don't know if the technology works as advertised. But here's why I'm impressed with Druva's strategy: A lengthy list of cloud-centric backup providers have built their own clouds to retain and recover customer data. Meanwhile, compute and storage costs for public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will continue to fall -- at regular, predictable intervals -- forever.

Over the long haul, I don't believe storage companies building their own clouds will be able to compete with commodity public cloud infrastructure from Amazon, Microsoft, Google and more.

Perhaps not by coincidence, the Druva backup service is built on Amazon Web Services. Singh says Amazon's meta data layer is the best in the business. Plus, the Phoenix service scales across multiple Amazon data centers, ensuring that Phoenix will remain online even if a portion of Amazon's cloud goes dark, Singh claimed.

Druva Phoenix will first target remote and branch offices, before scaling up for complete enterprises, Singh claims.

Admittedly, I'm a little wary of the highly fragmented cloud backup market. There are dozens of players trying to introduce cloud-centric solutions that disrupt installed giants like Symantec Backup Exec and CA ARCserve. But Singh said it's early in the game -- and the game involves a $10 billion opportunity across storage hardware and software.

On launch day today, you can almost hear the Druva team shouting "Rise, Phoenix, rise." 

We'll monitor the flight forward and report back as milestones emerge.