UPDATED 16:30 EST / AUGUST 22 2017

jaspreet-singh CLOUD

Exclusive: Druva demos new cloud platform, takes on secondary storage market

As organizations begin to move their information technology setups away from on-premises architectures, the new challenge has become how to store critical data so that it can be easily accessed and remain secure. Druva Inc. made two announcements today designed to position itself as a major player in enterprise data management as the secondary storage market continues to heat up.

“Now the whole battle is going to be on secondary storage,” said Jaspreet Singh (pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Druva. “Data management has to become more centralized, and Druva is at the core of this transformation.”

Singh made his remarks during a special appearance on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, in Palo Alto, California. He spoke with theCUBE host John Furrier (@furrier) and was joined by Druva executives, investors and customers. They discussed today’s funding and platform announcements, simplified data management, the perils of software hosted in the cloud and network security. (* Disclosure below.)

Watch the complete video interview with Druva’s CEO Jaspreet Singh below.

Total investment now $200 million

Druva announced that it had successfully closed $80 million of late-stage equity funding, with Riverwood Capital leading the round. Last September, the company raised $51 million, led by Sequoia India. The latest round will bring total investment in the firm to approximately $200 million.

“When you think about the secondary storage market, I think it is actually one of the larger markets that has yet to be truly disrupted by the cloud,” said Jeff Parks, an investor at Riverwood Capital. “Druva is at the forefront of that.”

The company also introduced Druva Cloud Platform, described as the next-generation cloud data protection and management solution delivered as-a-service. Built directly on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure offerings, the new platform is cloud-native with zero on-prem hardware.

“The more that data gets decentralized, the more centralized the data management has to be,” explained Singh, who said the new offering “holistically takes our entire product portfolio and puts it together in a nice, simplistic approach to manage your entire information workload on a single platform in the cloud.”

The new Druva platform provides integration with endpoints, infrastructure and SaaS applications natively in the cloud. It also includes a new feature — Druva One — which has been under development for 18 months.

A single pane of glass to manage data

Druva One provides a single pane of glass experience designed to eliminate separate logins or silo-structured interfaces. In a live demonstration at theCUBE’s studio, Prem Ananthakrishnan, vice president of products at Druva, showed a dashboard that displayed the total data protected and managed by Druva for a customer. “You can pretty much get a bird’s-eye view of where your data is located anywhere in the world,” he said.

The company is also bringing a consumer-like search experience to enterprise data management through a tool called Context Aware Search. The utility uses internal search history to help administrators quickly find information without having to navigate through multiple product libraries.

Druva executives emphasized that the “as-a-service” delivery model will be attractive to customers because of reduced cost and greater security. The new platform offers an alternative to software hosted in the cloud, where users are responsible for managing the application stack.

“When you start looking at people who have gone down the path of hosting software in the cloud, a lot of times they underestimate the cost and complexity that comes with maintaining, as well as deploying and supporting, software in the cloud,” said Ananthakrishnan. “The end result is they get a huge (bill) from the cloud provider and they’re all upset.”

Watch the complete video interview with Druva’s Prem Ananthakrishnan below.

Using cloud to counter ransomware

As ransomware and other cybersecurity threats become more widespread, data protection has become significantly more important. Druva’s approach to the security solution is to protect data in the centralized cloud while embracing governance capabilities for regulatory support and machine learning for early warning detection if attacks occur.

“If you were to think about data protection in legacy terms, you would think mostly about backup,” said Matthew Morgan, chief marketing officer at Druva. “When you move to data management as a service, you turn that whole thing on its ear.”

The persistent threat of a ransomware attack alone may drive more enterprises to consider Druva’s cloud-centric model. A recent report in the computer security community noted the appearance of a new ransomware variant that can work offline without needing network communication.

“Somebody is going to accidentally click on something and bam, the ransomware is in your firewall,” said Morgan. “With Druva, you don’t have to worry about it; your data will be protected. There’s no way that ransomware is going to crawl to the cloud to encrypt that data.”

Security is also on the minds of Druva’s existing customers, including the Port of New Orleans. A Port executive said they are dealing with multiple cyber threats, underscoring the need for platform security.

“We do face a lot of attacks,” said David Cordell, chief technical officer for the Port of New Orleans. “It comes in from all angles.”

As organizations evaluate various options for data protection, subsystem communication and encryption become key factors for network administrators such as Cordell. “When I start asking questions about back-end encryption, most companies cannot answer,” he said. “It was really easy to reach out to Druva and get an answer back.”

Druva executives said that the company is currently protecting over 100 petabytes of data for 4,000 customers. The new cloud platform is expected to be available by the end of this year. “The data protection market is evolving fast and we believe we have the right products out there to capitalize on this,” said Mahesh Patel, Druva’s chief financial officer.

Druva clearly expects to benefit from various aspects of the data management model that simply haven’t worked for a number of enterprise users. “The experience was broken because of so many moving parts,” said Singh. “It’s a great time for customers to trust the cloud and get a great story.”

Check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Druva’s Future of Cloud Data Protection and Management announcements in the full event video below. (* Disclosure: Druva Inc. sponsored this segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Druva nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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