Last fall, Santa Monica-based Aparavi came out of stealth with a multi-tier SaaS platform designed to provide long term data retention. They have now launched an updated version of their platform. It still features Cloud Active Data Pruning, which removes data at the moment its retention policy expires. They have added a new Compliant Storage Optimization capability, to provide for policy-based and on-demand destruction of sensitive data. They have also enhanced the platform’s Multi-Cloud Protection and Retention capabilities, for true multi-cloud mobility. Finally, they have also provided much greater clarification about their channel plans.
“Our premise is that backup is not the solution,” said Jonathan Calmes, Aparavi’s VP of Business Development. “Most engines were built around structured data. They were originally designed mainly for on-prem and tape, using proprietary formats. So they are not cloud optimized, and typically try and bolt cloud on.”
Calmes is one of three senior executives at Aparavi who came from NovaStor, a backup provider for over 30 years. Rod Christensen, the CTO and Adrian Knapp, the Chairman are the others. VP of Product Jay Hill, who was at Informatica before, is the only non-NovaStor person. NovaStor has never been an innovator within backup, which is why the three executives set up a new company to design a new type of SaaS platform for long term data retention in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.
“We used NovaStor as the startup garage, and we have the same parent company [NovaVision] but are completely different companies,” Calmes said. “We were also given three million from a Swiss investor, so we do not need VC money. We are secure and well-funded for the next several years, and are in it for the long haul.”
The enhanced version of the Aparavi platform includes some enhancements – which is to be expected – but also involves a shift in positioning and value proposition, and now clearly includes a channel strategy.
“The platform at the time of GA was more end-user focused,” Calmes indicated. “We are now introducing some new features and a new roadmap. We are now much more explicitly focused on active archiving. We are no longer running from ‘we aren’t backup.’ We still make a copy of the data, but we really prepare backup for archiving.”
That functionality makes Aparavi ideal as a complementary solution to existing data protection vendors.
“We are not about replacing an incumbent,” Calmes said. “Customers use us for specific use cases for long term cloud archiving, especially alongside Veeam. Our purpose is not to replace data protection solutions in their primary use case. We work alongside them.”
The changes to this version of the platform are significant.
“We built a new data-centric retention policy engine, so we now have more advanced archive search capability, which can search by content as well as by metadata,” Calmes noted.
“We have also enhanced our multi-cloud protection and retention, and now support Azure as well as IBM,” he added. They supported AWS and Google out of the gate. Oracle remains on the roadmap for support.
Another new capability, which is probably more of a futures at this point, is Compliant Storage Optimization.
“This new feature can identify data by content, metadata or classification for search and destroy, either through policy, or on demand, with the latter making it suitable for compliance with the GDPR,” Calmes said. The GDPR Right to be Forgotten applies equally to backup.
Calmes said that this capability isn’t a big deal today, but expects that will change over time.
“Overall, the concern level around GDPR today isn’t very high, and it isn’t something that we would lead with at this point,” he indicated. “We do, however, believe that it will be successful in pushing deals down the line.”
Aparavi’s ecosystem is critical for their go-to-market. Caringo is the latest of their strategic vendor partners.
“These vendor relationships are designed for visibility and increased credibility, but our relations with the big cloud providers – Azure and S3 and IBM – are the ones for getting in front of a lot of customers,” Calmes stated.
Aparavi’s channel strategy is also beginning to take shape.
“Initially, we talked directly with customers around the launch last October,” said Victoria Grey, Aparavi’s Interim CMO. “Now we are reaching out and starting to work with partners. Service providers are a logical target, because the product is multi-tiered and multi-tenanted, and they can take it direct or white label it. We have several of these partnerships in the works today.”
Grey also indicated that they are starting discussions with VAR partners who have an infrastructure practice, and who would sell this to enterprises. They are also talking with integrators, who would combine it with other solutions like business analytics, and with OEMs, who could either sell it direct or white label it like service providers.
“Going forward, the go-to-market will be primarily through channel partners,” Grey said.
A partner program is presently in the final stages of development, and is scheduled to go live in June.