In partnership with AWS, Druva has been able to build a cloud platform that offers multiple opportunities to plugin applications. CRN’s Nivedan Prakash speaks to Pete Yamasaki, Regional VP, APAC, Druva
Druva is a born-in-India product startup, formed in 2008 with the founders having worked at Veritas. The company began operations by launching a product for global deduplication to reduce the data that travels across the network and get backed up. Laptop backup was the most relevant use case at that time. The potential was to move the data across networks while it is accessed on the laptop of employees who are on the move. Druva garnered many customers for the offering.
“However what really changed for us was our partnership with AWS. In 2011, a project along with AWS was undertaken to build a cloud version of a backup product from the ground up, keeping the CIO requirements in consideration. It wasn’t just about hosting the product from a VM, but based on platform and APIs,” says Pete Yamasaki, Regional VP, APAC, Druva.
A product was launched in 2013 viz InSync cloud, the on-premise version of which was already in the market. It was a turnkey, no-hardware-to-be-maintained product, lessens the TCO, and all elastic. The response to the product in the first year was tepid. The upward cycle of adoption came in the second year. “In the first year, 90 per cent of the customers bought the on-premise version, but since then 98 per cent of the customers are on cloud. In India, in the last half of the year, 90 per cent of the new business acquired in India was all on the cloud model,” informs Yamasaki.
Druva was heading in the right direction. It’s important to note that, in the early days, the company rejected a lot of offers from Managed Service Providers (MSPs), who offered to use their cloud platforms. “It’s turning out to be the smartest decision, because it gave us an opportunity to partner with AWS. We are the only, true SaaS platform that’s on cloud,” claims Yamasaki. The other traditional players in data protection and backup, have some sort of cloud story, but it’s only a cloud bucket, which has not fundamentally changed from the ground up. For example, hosting the archives on the cloud, which amounts to hosting a traditional software aboard a VM, which doesn’t offer the benefits of a true cloud platform. This is the difference between what AWS has built versus the traditional service providers, which is to have an infrastructure way beyond VMs. “Our performance speaks for itself. We have seen a growth of 35 per cent, Q-o-Q, in APAC,” says Yamasaki.
Opportunity for extended offerings
The platform built with AWS also opens the door for Druva, in terms of extending the offerings – data backup is just one area. The customer data with Druva is not sitting on a disc, tape or some silos that doesn’t have pools. It resides atop a cloud, which makes available all the compute at the disposal; all on one platform, which can be used for other offerings like data analytics, data governance, etc. It enables employees to search data for auditing and e-discovery. These features are showing wide acceptance in the pharma sector because of compliance needs. “Hitherto, what took days to pool the data off the tapes, can now be done in minutes. The companies that require to run Personal Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) search, can now do it more cost effectively,” says Yamasaki.
Druva has scaled a solid platform for companies to find new opportunities to interact with data. Enter: opening up the platform for other companies to build tools over the platform. Result: there is a platform on top of a platform.
Also, apart from laptops and mobile devices, the InSync cloud can also take backups of devices like servers – traditional and virtual machines; applications and connected applications too. “We are also on the list of the first set of companies to be certified to backup VM workloads running on VMware – we see this as a huge opportunity. The DR backup capability is already in our kitty, which ties well in our DR story too,” says Yamasaki.
All in all, the company is not only giving enterprises the benefits of cloud based backup, but also congregating all enterprise IT resources on a common platform and giving them visibility of their assets and access them at ease. They don’t have to be accessed individually.
AWS helps Druva in its growth story
Without AWS, Druva wouldn’t have been able to build the product that it did. The India team of Druva played an active role in this tight integration. AWS’ focus towards allocating dedicated resources, time, effort gave what the company needed to establish a product of this kind.
The business partnership has also been running well. “It’s very synergistic in the sense that our success is their success too, because if we get a customer, the resources consumed belong to AWS,” adds Yamasaki.
A SAAP programme is run by AWS for independent software vendors (ISVs) like Druva. Customers are buying licenses for the turnkey solutions built by the company. It works both ways and is mutually beneficial for both the partner and AWS, because every partner is incentivised equally, irrespective of whether the end user is building an independent solution and sets up independent resources with the partner or if they buy services from a company like Druva.
Druva acquired a bunch of aviation companies as customers last year. Many insurance and healthcare, pharma companies also hire services from the company.