Monday, July 19, 2021

Memento Cloud, new cloud backup leveraging P2P

Memento Cloud, a young french data protection company, unveiled recently its backup product capitalizing on P2P technologies. The project was started in 2018 by Nathan Richard in Nîmes in the south of France and the legal entity was founded in 2019. It is supported by BPI, CCI Gard and personal money for the moment.

As other similar model did, Memento Cloud unifies and aggregate free - or unused - space from different machines to store back up images. This allows to avoid or delay storage investment and capitalize on the current hardware deployed maximizing the used space ratio. This virtual target for the backup process provides redundancy and all data escaping the client machine are fully encrypted. Even if all storage machines belong to a P2P network established for a specific customer, each one can build its one secured private cloud finally and can be deployed within a corporation or on Internet.

The solution couples a software and a SaaS offering to offer a flexible model for individual, SMB and  even large companies.

The solution is sold via 2 models: Individuals and Teams for €99/year up to 10 machines and Enterprises for €239/year every 10 machines. There is still a mystery about the data volume they're able to protect but as they consider machines like workstations we can consider just a few TB per backuped machine in the group of 10.

The idea is not new as we count at least 20 P2P storage projects during the last 15 years with different trajectories due to the maturity of the solution, the target market and the business climate. Among them we can list projects that still exist like Aetherstore, Arweave, BlockShare from Adanam Technology, Cloudplan, Cubbit, Filebase, Filecoin, KnozFS, Memento Cloud, Sia.tech, Storj Labs, Ugloo (new iteration of UbiStorage), of course IPFS as many product rely on it and also acquired or stopped ones like Aerofs (acquired by Redbooth), Kerstor (acquired), Symform (acquired by Quantum then stopped), Space monkey (acquired by Vivint), Ubistorage (stopped), Tudzu (stopped), Wuala (acquired by LaCie then Seagate then stopped), Transporter (owned by Drobo acquired by Nexsan then StorCentric now stopped), Blockade Technologies (stopped), Ubbey Tech. / Universal Labs (stopped) or Kopit (stopped).

Even if the solution is recent from a very young french company, it deserves a try.

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Friday, July 02, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Quantum signs with Supermicro for object storage distribution

Quantum, the champion of secondary storage, announced recently a new distribution channel with Supermicro. The storage vendor continues to push its ActiveScale product aka AS in this 6.0 release in an independent hardware approach promoting a clear SDS model. Quantum continues to suffer from the delicate image of the Amplidata product AmpliStor and the lack of development during the Western Digital period. Hopefully the company has decided to acquire the technology they already distributed many years ago under the brand Lattus and now accelerates new development, better image and precise positioning. We'll learn more soon during deep IT Press Tour session. It means that AS 6.0 is coupled with Supermicro high-density servers and storage. You can check the solution with the data sheet here. Supermicro web site is a bit bizarre as the product is listed on the Cloud-Defined Storage Solutions page and we find other object storage on the Software Defined Storage Solutions page. Some cleaning exercice is needed.

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Model9 releases Cloud Data Manager 2.0

Model9, a growing cloud data management player for mainframe, just announced its 2.0 release of Model9 Cloud Data Manager (CDM).

The main key element is the ability to move data directly between the mainframe and the cloud plus:

The idea to avoid data format conversion or translation into tape-oriented ones, gaining time, complexity, storage space and resources. It means that these generated data could be used also for something else like analytics or other data processing solutions. For users who already adopted Model9 CDM 1.x, they will receive free of charge this capability called Cloud Data Sets.

At the same time, CDM can convert DB2 image copies into various formats such JSON, CSV, binary...

Uses can targets AWS and Azure infrequent-access storage class to reduce even more the cost. Some performance improvements and features like search were added to this major release.

It would interesting to bridge Model9 with Fujifilm Storage-Defined Tape (or Object Archive), StrongBox Data or Versity to continue to use tape via S3 API. It's a real debate as cloud and tape vendors clashed on TCO models.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Coldago Research has anticipated the new Cohesity valuation

Coldago Research, the analyst firm specialized in data management and data storage, has a practice for several years to publish its bi-annual Storage Unicorn report.

For a few editions Cohesity is a member of this club of course and last December report has established a valuation exactly aligned with the last announcement about its $3.7B valuation from the company.

Valuation is a special exercice and Coldago has developed a set of tools and methods to estimate valuation of private companies, this report is a reference for a few years chosen by many private equity and VC firms and also banks. Next report will be published in June 2021.



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Monday, April 05, 2021

HYCU raised $87.5 million

HYCU, the growing SaaS backup vendor, delivers a major milestone with a round A of $87.5 million. It demonstrates a real trust in the company and in the footprint the firm has strongly built. Details of the deal are not public of course and we don't know the dilution and the valuation of the company for this round.

Launched in 2018 as Comtrade Software, extension of Comtrade and in the past Hermes SoftLab, HYCU confirms its strong expertise in data protection leveraging years of product developments and partnerships with other ISVs. HYCU has made a clear choice towards Nutanix at the beginning then VMware and various clouds. The company is seen now as a pure or true backup-as-a-service and clearly they lead the modern data protection (MDP) pack with a few other players coming from this next/new data protection generation. Its market presence is illustrated by 2,000+ customers.

Competitors watch closely their cloud strategy and product features as it weakens other players market footprints. Agile in its development, it is really a integrated service simple to activate and use, thanks to a clever scalable architecture coupled with an intuitive GUI. Protégé extends classic backup approach with DR and migration capabilities solving some demanding RPOs and RTOs. The ambition of Simon Taylor's team is intact and even more feasible with this round "to become the best backup-as-a-service offering on the market".


The MDP current state is the result of several waves associated with key vendors:
  1. legacy essentially with bare-metal and horizontal coverage, cross OS and large databases support represented by Veritas NetBackup, Dell Networker, IBM Spectrum Protect, Commvault or Atempo,
  2. VM with same players trying to fill the gap with new dedicated ones like Veeam,
  3. Cloud confirmation with Cohesity, Rubrik in addition to previous vendors,
  4. Container and Kubernetes with new comers like Kasten, Trilio or Velero,
  5. SaaS step with HYCU, Clumio.
At each level, a new need is introduced not already coverage natively by the established vendor. Remember that the legacy backup gorillas were really shaken by the Veeam simplicity and capabilities. The cloud was supported by extensions by many vendors but Cohesity and Rubrik made things dramatically simple, what previous vendors had difficulties to deliver. It presents the advantage to segregate production and protection locations coupled with the sharing and global access capabilities of the cloud. Its ubiquitous nature is a given. And once again it was the same story with container as established were disrupted by new comers. All this going super fast, Veeam made the decision to acquire Kasten to fill that gap and Veritas to partner with Trilio.

The SaaS category is essentially divided by 2 flavors, pure SaaS backup listed above but also by a second category of SaaS backup solutions dedicated to enterprise SaaS applications such Salesforce but also of course Office365. This segment is represented by OwnBackup, CloudAlly by Zix, CloudHQ, Spanning by Kaseya, Druva, Asigra. And the list is growing fast.

It invites to make a remark as Salesforce has chosen a few days ago to restart its own backup service stopped in July 2020. Is it following OVHcloud disaster? Is it also following the frequent remark about SaaS and IaaS data protection. IaaS has to be protected by the developer of the service that need to think, design, deploy... such service but for SaaS, users subscribe to a close, packaged high level service that must offer implicit or embedded data protection. Not providing this is a serious miss for a SaaS application and can be consider as a real drawback and create serious confusion in users mind. Don't forget CRM users are users, real end-users we mean... For Salesforce the story is a bit different as the position of the company can even invite them to do almost what they want as it won't really change users adoption. They can ignore the market, at least they can try. But we listen to a growing background noise about this SaaS/IaaS data protection.

In parallel to the MDP, note some movements from new players and established ones to add a secondary storage products in their portfolio. In the past, backup software vendors didn't sell they own device for the majority of them. NetBackup added an appliance line and we saw that wave confirmed with Cohesity, Rubrik and more recently Commvault with the Hedvig acquisition or Arcserve with StorageCraft. We continue to see dedicated scalable secondary storage such Quantum, Spectra Logic and we can also mentioned here Versity for mass capacity projects.

This new demand for advanced secondary storage is also illustrated with S3 storage with comprehensive data services such data reduction, encryption, redundancy techniques with erasure coding, of course replication, and air gap, vaulting capabilities to fit with ransomware protection requirements.

CDP launched almost 20 years ago is hot again as some applications RPO require such techniques. The ransomware threat invited again the tape as it is a passive device easily moved to a secure disconnected area. Also recent tape developments with capacity projection suggest a better tape adoption especially with the FujiFilm/IBM large tape demo a few months ago.
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Friday, April 02, 2021

Model9 partners with AWS

Model9, an emerging leader in cloud data management for mainframe, is now listed on the AWS marketplace as an Advanced Technology Partner. At the same time the company received the Well-Architected Partner Program recognition illustrating the growing success of its cloud data manager. We detailed the Model9 solution a few days ago, take a look.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Atempo and Wasabi joined effort with a cloud backup solution

Atempo and Wasabi Technologies, two established and recognized data management and storage players, announced a partnership to offer a cloud backup service. The idea is to provide a backup service based on Atempo Tina coupled with Wasabi S3 storage.

This new solution officially launched the Wasabi support but Atempo already supports S3 for quite long time. On the other side, Wasabi already supports any application that can feed its S3 endpoint aligned with the AWS API.

Checking the Atempo partners page, it seems that some of them require an update. About this joint solution, details are not provided on how you subscribe to the service and when it will be available. Let's see, we hope to receive more info during the next IT Press Tour in June.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Model9 extends the mainframe to the cloud

Model9, a fast growing vendor for cloud management, develops an interesting solution for mainframe. The company was founded in 2016 in Israel by Gil Peleg and received so far $13.8 million from various VCs and Intel Capital in particular.

During the session with Model9 we had for the 39th IT Press Tour, we learned that mainframe continues to represent 80% of worldwide business exchanges with more than 30 billions transactions per day. Model9 understands the large opportunity and wishes to lead the mainframe cloud initiative and participate to convert users to the cloud.

Model9 Cloud Data Manager for Mainframe, released more than 3 years ago, runs on non-billable CPUs, called zIIp - IBM z Systems Integrated Information Processor - and acts as a gateway and connects the system to on-premises or cloud-based object storage like MinIO or AWS S3. This is again a good illustration that MinIO is everywhere.

Advantages and benefits are immediate with the reduction of costs, the modernization and cloud transformation of the mainframe environment, the data protection improvement and the associated HA/DR in a very easy transparent deployment and operations.

The company detailed two case studies with America First and France Gallop, the first leverages Cohesity and the second MinIO for 7 days of cache and then migrate to AWS Glacier for cold data. Both examples show a full hardware independence with no media, tape drives and library to manage and the absence of footprint in the data center.

To accelerate cloud storage adoption, the firm has started a partner program with public cloud providers and also Cloudian, Hitachi Vantara, Dell, NetApp, Cohesity and MinIO, many key players in the segment listed by Coldago Research in their last report. We even imagine IBM COS will be added, why it is not already the case like IBM cloud, DDN, Quantum and Spectra Logic should appear as well, at least we hope. We imagine it would interesting for users and Model9 to collaborate with Fujifilm for their Software-Defined Tape and StrongBox as they can do S3 to S3 to Tape.

We also found that IBM addresses similar needs with its own Cloud Tape Connector for z/OS, acting like a modern VTL but still with tape, in addition to the Model9 product it references on its website.

Model9 is definitely a solution to test and adopt for mainframe users if they wish to modernize their monolithic environment.

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