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Aparavi Aims To Reduce Wasted Cloud Storage, Ease Moves Between Clouds

Aparavi, a startup in the crowded cloud backup space, this week released a solution that the Southern California company's executives believe will appeal to the second-generation of cloud storage users, who have experienced some of the pain points in the cloud and have more sophisticated requirements.

Called Active Archive, the SaaS-based platform's design goals include archiving unstructured data, minimizing storage requirements and promoting independence for customers among cloud platforms with several features designed to smooth migration from one storage cloud to another.

A central motivation behind the Aparavi approach is that backup of unstructured data is growing at rapid rates but that much of that data doesn't actually need to be retained in the public cloud.

"You don't need more backup. You need a niche tool built for the long haul," said Jon Calmes, vice president of business development for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company.

The platform combines a SaaS-based console and a local appliance built with Aparavi software that organizations use to control backups from their local data source to a cloud target, set back-up and retention policies, and search for backed-up files across clouds. Supported public clouds include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Wasabi and IBM Cloud. The platform also backs up to Caringo, Cloudian and Scality on-premises private cloud platforms.

The company allows for optional local snapshots at the source, called checkpoints, but depends on file-based snapshots on the appliance, which are then backed up to the cloud of the customer's choice. By taking a file-based -- rather than an image-based -- approach, Aparavi can provide tools for users to control their cloud storage environment, Calmes said.

Users are able to classify data and set retention policies to allow certain data to be deleted after a specified amount of time or to tag files as "legal" or "confidential." Tagging data as "personal identity" using that capability can help an organization protect that data to meet the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.

Organizations can search for data based on metadata, such as creation date or file name, or using full-text content search. A capability Aparavi calls "data pruning" automatically removes data and file increments based on retention policies to help organizations keep cloud backup sizes under control.

Founded in 2016, Aparavi came out of stealth mode in October 2017. One of the features added since a test version released last fall is support for multiple clouds. "Multi-cloud is often a misnomer," Calmes said. "Having the ability to switch at any time without getting pummelled with egress fees is a challenge."

Calmes said customers, or managed service providers (MSPs) working on their behalf, will be able to use Aparavi's capabilities in combination to help with a migration from one public cloud to another. "If you're an MSP using Amazon S3 in Glacier and you want to move to Azure and the archive tier, for example, what Aparavi allows you to do is immediately stop the flow of data into that cloud," Calmes said.

Aparavi expects to work with multiple types of partners, from MSPs to service providers to OEMs to systems integrators, to reach the midmarket and enterprise customers that it expects will find its capabilities most appealing. Calmes said the company will roll out a more detailed partner program later this year.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 16, 2018