(This blog article was originally published on the DCIG web site on March 28, 2018)
A virtualization focused backup software play may be perceived as “too little, too late” with so many players in today’s backup space. However, many former virtualization centric backup software plays (PHD Virtual and vRanger come to mind) have largely disappeared while others got pricier and/or no longer do just VM backups. These changes have once again created a need for a virtualization centric backup software solution. This plays right into the hands of the newly created HYCU as it formally tackles the job of ESX virtual machine (VM) backups in non-Nutanix shops.
Virtualization centric backup software has almost disappeared in the last few years. Either they have been acquired and become part of larger entities (PHD Virtual was acquired by Unitrends while AppAssure and vRanger both ended up with Quest Software) while others have diversified into providing both physical and virtual backups. But as these changes have occurred, the need for a virtualization focused backup software solution has not necessarily diminished. If anything, the rise of hyper-converged platforms such as Dell EMC, Nutanix, HPE SimpliVity, Pivot3, and others offer has created a new need for a backup software product designed for these environments.
Enter HYCU. HYCU as a brand originally surfaced mid-last year from Comtrade Software. Today it takes on the name of its flagship HYCU backup software product as well as becomes a standalone company. By adopting the corporate name of HYCU, it completes the break from its parent company, Comtrade Group, as well as the Comtrade Software name under which it has operated for the past nine months.
During its initial nine-month existence, HYCU focused on tackling VM backups in Nutanix environments. It started out by protecting VMs running on Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (AHV) environments and then expanded to protect VMs running on ESX in Nutanix environments.
Today HYCU takes a logical and necessary leap to ensure its VM-centric backup software finds a home in a broader number of enterprises. While HYCU may arguably do the best job of any backup software product available when it comes to protecting VMs in Nutanix environments, most organizations do not yet host all their VMs on Nutanix.
To address this larger market, HYCU is broadening it capabilities to tackle the protection of VMs on non-Nutanix platforms. There is some significance in HYCU taking this step. Up to this point, HYCU leveraged the native data protection capabilities found on Nutanix’s platform to negate the possibility of VM stuns. This approach worked whether it protected VMs running on AHV or ESX as both were hosted on the Nutanix platform and HYCU could call on Nutanix’s native snapshot capabilities.
By porting its software to protect VMs running on non-Nutanix platforms, HYCU by necessity must use the native VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) to protect these VMs. As VADP does not offer the same level of data protection against VM stuns that the native Nutanix platform offers, users on non-Nutanix platforms remain exposed to the possibility of VM stuns.
That said, organizations do gain three advantages by using HYCU on non-Nutanix platforms:
- They obtain a common solution to protect VMs on both their Nutanix and non-Nutanix platforms. HYCU provides them with one interface to manage the protection of all VMs.
- Affordable VM backups. HYCU prices its backup software very aggressively with list prices of about $1500/socket.
- They can more easily port VMs from non-Nutanix to Nutanix platforms. Once they begin to protect VMs on non-Nutanix platforms, they can restore them to Nutanix platforms. Once ported, they can replace the VM’s underlying data protection methodology with Nutanix’s native data protection capabilities to negate the possibility of VM stuns.
In today’s highly virtualized world a virtualization centric backup software play may seem late to market. However, backup software consolidations and mergers coupled with the impact that hyper-converged infrastructures are having on enterprise data centers have created an opening for an affordable virtualization centric backup software play.
HYCU has rightfully discerned such an opportunity exists. By now extending the capabilities of its product to protect non-Nutanix environments, it both knocks down the barriers and objections for these environments to adopt its software while simultaneously easing their path to eventually transition to Nutanix and address the VM stun challenges that persist in non-Nutanix environments.