Tech Field Day 19: Druva vs. the competition

W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technology Evangelist

It’s about time Druva speaks more openly about how we are different than our competitors. I came to this conclusion last week after having the opportunity to speak to the Tech Field Day audience at Tech Field Day 19. I decided to take a different approach than we have taken before with this audience. After a very brief overview of how the company is doing and what we actually do – the only all-SaaS all-cloud data protection product on the market – I took the very scary step into the world of comparing our service to other currently available products, even mentioning them by name.

I haven’t done this in the past because I don’t want to be perceived as a “vendor basher,” but I decided to do it this time because when I do a more traditional “Druva 101” presentation, the immediate question I get is “How do you compare to Veaam?” Or I might get the question, “Rubrik and Cohesity say they are also SaaS (or cloud), so are you the same?” I decided the best way to tackle these questions head-on was to first describe what our competitors do, followed by an explanation of how what we do is different. It may or may not be better for all use cases, but by goodness it is definitely very different.

It’s now a few days after Tech Field Day 19, and I’ve had the chance to speak with a number of the delegates in attendance, many of which use our competitors’ products. They gave my presentation high marks, saying that my unique tack helped to differentiate our service. They said – perhaps most importantly – they appreciated I never said the other products were bad products. So I took a deep breath and decided to create a blog series based on the same approach.

Publicly calling out your competitors by name is a risky thing to do. You’re automatically at a disadvantage due to the perception that you will be biased against the other products, and the fact you will know your product better than you know any other product. The only way you have any hope of being perceived as being balanced is to say many nice things about your competitors – even talking about things they do that you don’t (yet) do. So that’s what I did. I discussed four major developments in the evolution of data protection technology over the last 30 years:

  • Centralized network backup (Veritas, Legato, IBM, Commvault)
  • Target deduplication (Data Domain, Quantum)
  • Virtualization-centric backup (Veeam)
  • Hyper-converged data protection (Cohesity, Rubrik)

Each of these phases in the evolution of data protection move things forward with new functionality and new ways of thinking about data protection. They also all rely on traditional compute and storage systems. It might be physical systems, such as on-premises backup servers and attached disk or tape, or it might be virtual systems, such as VMs in the cloud running the same backup software as the on-premises systems do. Whether physical or virtual, on-premises or the cloud, they are all using the same type of computing infrastructure that the IT industry has used for the last 30+ years. There is a physical or virtual server, an operating system, a backup server application, a file system (whether local or network-mounted), and some type of database to keep track of everything. All of this infrastructure must be purchased, leased, or rented from a cloud provider, then it must be maintained.

Druva took a completely different approach. We asked ourselves what people wanted: a data protection system they needed to buy and maintain, or one that just ran the backups on their behalf – and never needed to be maintained. Do people want the coolest new car (e.g. Tesla), or do they just need to get somewhere (e.g. Lyft & Uber). Young people around the world are Ubering everywhere and eschewing purchasing (or even renting) a car, and companies everywhere are throwing out traditional IT systems and replacing them with the likes of Salesforce, Office 365, G Suite, AWS’ RDS, VMware Cloud on AWS, and the like. The world has spoken, and they want cloud and SaaS, and Druva is currently the only game in town offering that.

If you can’t wait for my blog series, check out the video. Otherwise, check back later as I compare Druva to the rest of the market – one product type at a time.