Product

What’s new – Druva Cloud Platform for data center workloads

With the month of January come and gone, we’re officially into 2021. While many of us might prefer to forget much of 2020, it’s also important to remember our successes and accomplishments. This past year, Druva’s product and engineering teams announced and delivered a number of new features and improvements to help organizations better protect and recover workloads in hybrid cloud environments. As many readers know, what makes SaaS data protection (or backup-as-a-service – BaaS) different from typical software product updates is the ability to deliver not just new functionality, but improved experiences on a monthly basis, without the baggage of software or hardware upgrades. 

This is the first blog in the “What’s new” series summarizing updates to Druva’s product portfolio, and will focus on the last four months. This edition features enhancements for data center workloads, and is organized into three categories – simplicity-experience, workloads-scale, and security-resiliency.

Simplicity and experience

A well-designed SaaS experience just works. Our user experience (UX) and engineering teams focused on the core administrative experience, as well as specific workloads including the following enhancements:

  • Administration – configure administrator roles and allocate costs efficiently
  • Analytics page – provide more data at your fingertips without clutter
  • VMware – simplify access and context for job information 
  • Druva smart scan (for files and NAS) – simplify the experience
  • SQL workloads – create a faster and more intuitive experience
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) integration – increase functionality

In January 2020, our UX team made improvements around VMware. The VMware update provides new access points for job information (reducing clicks), new filter types (e.g. filtering jobs by vCenter), and a cleaner experience when viewing job summary and log details.

We love the refresh for SQL workloads. It provides a faster and more intuitive engagement. Microsoft SQL is the second most popular relational database after Oracle, and an important workload for our existing (and future customers). Check out this five-minute demo video on our SQL page highlighting the latest UX and some of our capabilities.

In October 2020, Druva announced cloud data protection for Oracle, specifically an upcoming and new capability called Oracle direct-to-cloud. While this new approach expands how we meet customer needs, we continue to improve our existing agentless approach. Specifically, we integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) to allow customers to configure their Phoenix backup store within OEM, simplifying database backup management for Oracle RMAN database hosts in data centers and in the AWS Cloud. If you’re unfamiliar with our impressive Oracle capabilities, watch our resident expert give a brief five-minute tour, and read the Oracle blog series for more information.

If you’re unfamiliar with the pace of UX updates (and related experiences elements) that can occur with a SaaS product, it’s worth adding a bit more context. UX teams monitor how customers engage with the product and respond in a range of ways – making big, or more often small, subtle changes.

Workloads – scale

Files, or unstructured data, continue to be a huge part of customer environments. Increasingly, this data lives beyond traditional filers, on the edge or in the cloud. In December, Druva announced support for Amazon EFS and FSx. Druva is a premier storage partner for AWS, and announced this support during our sessions at AWS ReInvent 2020. This capability offers customers a more economical and predictable way to manage the backup and long-term retention of unstructured file data in the cloud. As customers migrate files from on-premises to the cloud, they benefit from a single, global deduplication engine and integrated long-term retention. This simplifies backup, security, and retention of file data over its entire lifecycle. 

Other File/NAS workload improvements in Q4 include: 

  • Direct-to-cold archive tier (previously called infrequent access) for 50% lower costs (available in early release)
  • Storage insights and recommendations to understand storage trends, eliminate non-critical backup data, and reduce storage consumption and costs
  • Introduction of improved content rules for NAS backups
  • New compression algorithms – 50% reduction in compute resources and better reduction in storage consumption to improve your TCO

Microsoft SQL and Oracle databases

While many customers have been impressed with Druva for SQL, our traditional agent-based solution, we also offer application-aware backup of SQL in VMware. In Q4, we made recovery of SQL in vSphere faster by allowing not just point-in-time recovery of SQL in VMware, but flexibility for where and how you recover, without the need to recover the full VM. You can see this, and the new SQL UX, in this brief five-minute demo.

Druva for Oracle performance was improved last quarter in several important ways (refreshed architecture under the hood):

  • Better reporting and visibility of RMAN jobs within the Druva console
  • Backup performance improved by 3X 

See the cloud data protection for Oracle databases webpage to learn more about our architecture.

Security-resiliency

Cloud disaster recovery (DR) is a powerful capability and a logical step for anyone using or considering cloud data protection. Your ability to failover applications and services in the event of an outage with different SLAs is core to both DR and resiliency. Cloud DR can augment resiliency by offering on-demand scale. Watch one of our resident Druva architects, Jesse Kachapis, discuss this in a 30-minute session from our DxP conference in October.

In addition, Druva introduced new features and expanded existing capabilities over the last four months that include the following:

  • New: AWS Private Link support 
  • Expanded: Cloud DR support
  • More AWS instance types for failover (C5/M5)
  • Druva-AWS proxy OS proliferation
  • DR for VMs using the unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI)
  • AWS identity and access management (IAM) role enhancements

Druva is the first SaaS data protection vendor to leverage AWS PrivateLink. It adds another layer of security to DR by keeping all network traffic between your AWS virtual private clouds (VPCs) and the Druva Cloud, and off the public internet. Configuring and using PrivateLink is a one-click process (Druva deploys AWS CloudFormation templates) and is included with all tiers of service offered by Druva. Read the detailed PrivateLink blog by Jude Daniel, one of our product managers, for more information.

Key takeaways

The Druva team is delivering new features and updates on a monthly basis. We are always listening to the needs of our customers and want to hear from you. If you’re not yet a Druva customer, hopefully this series (and future ones) will make clear one key aspect separating the Druva Cloud from traditional approaches – your system is always updated with new features on a monthly basis, without the headache of an upgrade cycle. While it’s tempting and exciting to share roadmap details, this blog series will focus on what’s been announced and delivered. Stay tuned for our next installments, featuring our products for SaaS application backup and AWS workloads.

This was a summary of new features and key updates. For a comprehensive list, read the release notes.

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