Tag Archives: Protection

Igneous Systems rocks unstructured data protection for NAS

Igneous Systems Inc. is getting attached to NAS.

The unstructured data protection specialist this week expanded integrations with providers of network-attached storage. Igneous Systems now provides multiprotocol support for Dell EMC Isilon OneFS, direct integration with Qumulo File Fabric (QF2) and Pure Storage FlashBlade object storage support.

Igneous backs up data to its fully managed appliance that runs in the customer’s data center. Customers can also tier data up to the Amazon, Microsoft and Google public clouds.

Protecting unstructured data at scale is important at a time when data sets are no longer tidy and living in one place, said Allison Armstrong, vice president of marketing at Igneous Systems.

Igneous seeks simplified backup

Igneous claims it provides the only multiprotocol support for Isilon OneFS. Organizations that use SMB and NFS at the same time can protect all that data and retain both permission sets through one backup. The support provides an alternative to replication for data protection.

The Igneous API-based integration with Qumulo also offers an alternative to replication. Igneous Systems enables backup and archive for QF2 clusters.

“Customers now have the ability to run a very simple backup routine,” Armstrong said.

Igneous Systems' Dell EMC Isilon protection
Igneous Systems offers multiprotocol data protection support for Dell EMC Isilon OneFS.

In addition, the support means Qumulo customers do not have to implement Network Data Management Protocol, a dated way of protecting NAS filers.

Igneous previously provided API-based integration to back up NFS data on Pure and is expanding that support to include FlashBlade object storage. The protection includes data movement at scale and features automated provisioning and snapshot integration.

We’re optimized for unstructured data.
Allison Armstrongvice president of marketing, Igneous Systems

“This is a way to ensure that modern data workflows are protected,” Armstrong said.

Igneous Systems customers do not have to download or install any additional software to receive the updates. Igneous data protection products are available through its channel partners.

Igneous delivers its protection as a service, unified and with massive scale, said Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. Bertrand said he thinks there’s an interest for the protection that Igneous provides and he’s curious to see how the business will evolve.

“They’re doing it for a variety of platforms,” Bertrand said. “I think they’re solving a problem for a number of organizations. But … the market will decide.”

Focusing on unstructured data

Launched in 2016, Igneous has a customer base in the double digits, Armstrong said. Two main targets are large enterprises and data-centric organizations such as life sciences businesses. Earlier this year, CEO and Founder Kiran Bhageshpur said he expected to see a significant increase in the customer count by the end of 2018.

Igneous closed a $15 million Series B funding round in January, geared toward helping expand its workforce and marketing.

Armstrong said Igneous Systems runs into secondary storage startups Cohesity and Rubrik in the marketplace, but they don’t have as much scale and are more focused on structured data.

“We’re optimized for unstructured data,” Armstrong said.

New Nakivo update supports more platforms

Nakivo’s latest update of its data protection software focuses on compatibility and integration, including a cross-platform recovery feature.

Nakivo Backup & Replication 7.5 is compatible with the latest version of VMware vSphere, integrates with the Dell EMC Data Domain BoostFS plug-in for deduplication and supports Netgear ReadyNAS devices.

Nakivo provides data protection for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). This Nakivo update introduced the ability to export backup data in multiple formats and recover from that data across platforms.

The new Nakivo update also offers more granular control over the bandwidth throttling feature introduced in the previous version. Aside from setting general rules to limit data transfer speed during business hours, users can set bandwidth rules on a per-job basis if they so choose.

Nakivo competes mainly with larger and more established vendors, such as Veritas, Veeam and Acronis. Veniamin Simonov, Nakivo’s lead product manager, said one way for the smaller company to win deals is to offer a low-cost product that has the features of its rivals.

“Backup software should not be expensive. While it’s critical for the enterprise to have backup and recovery in case of a disaster, it’s not the first thing businesses are invested into. So it shouldn’t be expensive,” Simonov said.

Nakivo update schedule helps in competitive market

To compete on features, Nakivo brings out quarterly updates of its software that protects virtual machines and recently expanded to include cloud support. Because Backup & Replication is Nakivo’s only product, it receives the vendor’s full engineering support.

Headshot of Veniamin SimonovVeniamin Simonov

“We’re always trying to be flexible and deliver value much quicker. I’ve seen other vendors do major releases every year or every two years, so we’re trying to do four times a year,” Simonov said.

Sticking to its quarterly update schedule has allowed Nakivo to quickly make up ground on the rest of the industry, according to George Crump, founder of IT analysis firm Storage Switzerland. “I can’t think of any major features that they are missing. … In fact, there are some areas where they are unique: EC2-native backup, for example, and support for running on these economical NAS systems,” Crump said.

Backup software should not be expensive. While it’s critical for the enterprise to have backup and recovery in case of a disaster, it’s not the first thing businesses are invested into.
Veniamin Simonovlead product manager, Nakivo

Crump said Nakivo’s main competitive focus should be on Veeam, which has a foothold in the market for smaller companies looking to protect virtual machines and is making strides among enterprises now.

“Veeam should be, and probably is, their sole concern,” Crump said of Nakivo. “In the market they play in — the virtualized enterprise — Veeam is the 800-pound gorilla.”

Nakivo was founded in 2012 and started out as data protection solely for VMware. Despite its aggressive development schedule, Simonov said there is still much to do in the coming Nakivo update agenda.

“We are working towards disaster recovery capabilities, to be more competitive in the mid-business and enterprise markets,” he said. “We are working towards having more capabilities in the physical environments. I believe no modern businesses are fully physical, but there is a big demand for physical backup from customers who have mixed IT environments. We are also working on native tape capabilities.”

LifeLock vulnerability exposed user email addresses to public

Symantec’s identity theft protection service, LifeLock, exposed millions of customers’ email addresses.

According to security journalist Brian Krebs, the LifeLock vulnerability was in the company’s website, and it enabled unauthorized third parties to collect email addresses associated with LifeLock user accounts or unsubscribe users from communications from the company. Account numbers, called subscriber keys, appear in the URL of the unsubscribe page on the LifeLock website that correspond to a customer record and appear to be sequential, according to Krebs, and that lends itself to writing a simple script to collect the email address of every subscriber.

The biggest threat with this LifeLock vulnerability is attackers could launch a targeted phishing scheme — and the company boasted more than 4.5 million users as of January 2017.

“The upshot of this weakness is that cyber criminals could harvest the data and use it in targeted phishing campaigns that spoof LifeLock’s brand,” Krebs wrote. “Of course, phishers could spam the entire world looking for LifeLock customers without the aid of this flaw, but nevertheless the design of the company’s site suggests that whoever put it together lacked a basic understanding of web site authentication and security.”

Krebs notified Symantec of the LifeLock vulnerability, and the security company took the affected webpage offline shortly thereafter. Krebs said he was alerted to the issue by Atlanta-based independent security researcher Nathan Reese, a former LifeLock subscriber who received an email offering him a discount if he renewed his membership. Reese then wrote a proof of concept and was able to collect 70 email addresses — enough to prove the LifeLock vulnerability worked.

Reese emphasized to Krebs how easy it would be for a malicious actor to use the two things he knows about the LifeLock customers — their email addresses and the fact that they use an identity theft protection service — to create a “sharp spear” for a spear phishing campaign, particularly because LifeLock customers are already concerned about cybersecurity.

Symantec, which acquired the identity theft protection company in 2016, issued a statement after Krebs published his report on the LifeLock vulnerability:

This issue was not a vulnerability in the LifeLock member portal. The issue has been fixed and was limited to potential exposure of email addresses on a marketing page, managed by a third party, intended to allow recipients to unsubscribe from marketing emails. Based on our investigation, aside from the 70 email address accesses reported by the researcher, we have no indication at this time of any further suspicious activity on the marketing opt-out page.

LifeLock has faced problems in the past with customer data. In 2015, the company paid out $100 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it allegedly failed to secure customers’ personal data and ran deception advertising.

In other news:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California said Amazon’s facial recognition program, Rekognition, falsely identified 28 members of Congress as people who were arrested for a crime in its recent test. The ACLU put together a database of 25,000 publicly available mugshots and ran the database against every current member of the House and Senate using the default Rekognition settings. The false matches represented a disproportionate amount of people of color — 40% of the false matches, while only 20% of Congress members are people of color — and spanned both Democrats and Republicans and men and women of all ages. One of the falsely identified individuals was Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus; Lewis previously wrote a letter to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, expressing concern for the potential implications of the inaccuracy of Rekognition and how it could affect law enforcement and, particularly, people of color.
  • Researchers have discovered another Spectre vulnerability variant that enables attackers to access sensitive data. The new exploit, called SpectreRSB, was detailed by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, in a paper titled, “Spectre Returns! Speculation Attacks using the Return Stack Buffer.” “Rather than exploiting the branch predictor unit, SpectreRSB exploits the return stack buffer (RSB), a common predictor structure in modern CPUs used to predict return addresses,” the research team wrote. The RSB aspect of the exploit is what’s new, compared with Spectre and its other variants. It’s also why it is, so far, unfixed by any of the mitigations put in place by Intel, Google and others. The researchers tested SpectreRSB on Intel Haswell and Skylake processors and the SGX2 secure enclave in Core i7 Skylake chips.
  • Google Chrome implemented its new policy this week that any website not using HTTPS with a valid TLS certificate will be marked as “not secure.” In the latest version of the browser, Google Chrome version 68, users will see a warning message stating that the site in not secure. Google first announced the policy in February. “Chrome’s new interface will help users understand that all HTTP sites are not secure, and continue to move the web towards a secure HTTPS web by default,” Emily Schechter, Chrome Security product manager, wrote in the announcement. “HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it unlocks both performance improvements and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.”

Gen 8 Unitrends appliances span SMB to enterprise

Unitrends upgraded and expanded its flagship Recovery Series data protection appliances, increasing disk density and adding options to help support customers ranging from SMBs to enterprises.

The new Gen 8 Unitrends appliances run Unitrends Backup version 10.2, the company’s latest backup software. The appliances also have a “self-healing storage” feature, which uses cloud-based analytics to monitor and automatically fix hardware anomalies before they turn into full-blown failures. If necessary, the appliance will notify the customer and automatically open a support ticket.

Unitrends’ new line of backup appliances features a wider range of models than the previous Recovery Series generation launched in October 2016. The Gen 8 platform includes 15 models, ranging from 2 TB to 120 TB usable capacity, although Unitrends dropped its 180 TB model in Gen 8. Gen 8 Unitrends appliances have added 12 TB capacity drives.

The new models include six 1U appliances for SMB and remote offices, two 1U and three 2U midsize appliances, and four 2U enterprise systems.

Joe Noonan, vice president of product management and marketing at Unitrends, explained that the previous appliance storage sizes weren’t fitting all the needs of the broad market Unitrends plays in.

By having such a broad market to go after, we needed to make it as easy as possible to buy and fit the budget needs of our end users.
Joe Noonanvice president of product management and marketing, Unitrends

“Unitrends does play in the enterprise, we play in the midmarket, and we even have some play in the SMB space,” Noonan said. “By having such a broad market to go after, we needed to make it as easy as possible to buy and fit the budget needs of our end users.”

Pricing for the new Unitrends appliances ranges from $2,749 for the 2 TB 8002 model to $97,999 for the 120 TB 8120S with Enterprise Plus software. Noonan said the price per useable TB had gone up 10% over the previous models. However, he said greater choice can reduce the cost for some midrange customers “because we filled in those gaps so that there was a better model to meet their needs and they didn’t have to buy something too big.”

Unitrends appliance
Latest Unitrends Recovery Series appliances include 12 TB drives for greater density.

Unitrends recently merged with Kaseya, but Noonan pointed out that Unitrends remains independent. “We maintained our management structure, we maintained our CEO; our channel remains the same,” he said.

Unitrends sells backup software separately or integrated on appliances. Its product portfolio also includes VMware Backup Essentials virtual backup appliances and Boomerang for VMware software that replicates to public clouds for disaster recovery.

With pieces on so many playing fields, Unitrends runs into a lot of competition. Noonan sees Barracuda as the biggest backup competitor for Unitrends appliances, but also lists Data Domain, Rubrik and Veeam as hardware or software competitors. He said Unitrends tries to stand out by offering a complete on-premises-to-cloud package. “That combination, being able to fit a very well-priced solution that is very low-maintenance because it’s a full box, you’re not stitching that together yourself, and then offering a wide array of disaster recovery options; we’re able to constantly fill gaps as you go along on that disaster recovery story all the way through to the cloud.”

Druva CloudRanger finds home in Cloud Platform

Less than two months after acquiring a vendor specializing in data protection for Amazon Web Services workloads, Druva has integrated the product into its Cloud Platform.

Druva CloudRanger, generally available today, replaces the Apollo product the cloud data protection and management vendor had started to work on. Announced in late 2017, Apollo also had a focus on AWS backup and recovery.

Having the underlying technology aided the integration, said Steven Hill, senior analyst of storage technologies at 451 Research.

“They were a good chunk of the way there,” Hill said. “Picking up CloudRanger was an excellent purchase.”

Druva executives said a customer advisory board meeting in February fueled the need to bring a product quickly to market.

“Sometimes, it’s just better to purchase technology than to write it from scratch,” Hill said.

It also helps that Druva and CloudRanger were both built natively on AWS, said Dave Packer, Druva’s vice president of product and alliance marketing. Druva CloudRanger can back up to a customer’s immediate account or cross-region.

Helping companies ‘make that leap’ to cloud

Druva completed the CloudRanger acquisition in June, and CloudRanger is now a Druva company. Druva did not disclose the price of its first acquisition since its 2008 founding.

CloudRanger provided a platform for snapshot management of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud workloads using AWS native snapshots. It also provided management of servers and backup policies across multiple AWS regions and accounts.

CloudRanger’s disaster recovery features included file-level recovery, AWS snapshot restoration and automated DR testing.

In the last few weeks, CloudRanger has added about 20 new customers, and Packer expects a further increase in August.

“Companies really want to make that leap from on premises to the cloud,” but they need to do it and manage it the right way, Packer said.

Another key element is managing the costs of the cloud. Giving customers visibility across accounts and workloads can improve efficiency, Packer said.

Druva said its Cloud Platform provides a holistic view into data activities throughout the organization, including data protection status by source and region, service use, storage use and data compliance status.

Companies really want to make that leap from on premises to the cloud.
Dave Packervice president of product and alliance marketing, Druva

As it also includes Druva’s inSync and Phoenix products, the Druva Cloud Platform now protects and manages what the vendor calls four primary pillars of enterprise data: data center, software as a service, end-user devices and cloud workloads. Druva, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., started out providing endpoint data protection.

Though Hill said he was surprised at the speed of the Druva CloudRanger integration, he said he doesn’t foresee any issues with the quick rollout. In addition, AWS’ stability helps ease the challenge of integrating CloudRanger’s original 300 customers, Hill said.

“That’s the first place you want to establish yourself,” he said of Druva’s decision to start its cloud backup on AWS.

Current Druva customers have free access to the Cloud Platform. More pricing information is available by contacting Druva.

Looking at the clouds ahead

Hill said Druva should focus next on multi-cloud support — for example, moving an AWS workload to Microsoft Azure or the Google Cloud Platform.

Packer said Druva is keeping an eye on the possibility of support for other public clouds, but the greatest demand is for AWS. He said nearly all Druva customers have data in AWS, and few have data only in one of the other public clouds.

“The priority right now is AWS, because there is a large volume of enterprises moving in that direction,” Packer said.

Druva Cloud Platform dashboard
Druva’s Cloud Platform includes the Druva CloudRanger, inSync and Phoenix products.

Other backup vendors are also paying a great deal of attention to protecting public cloud data.

In late 2017, Veeam Software made its first acquisition in 10 years with the purchase of N2WS, which provides — similarly to Druva CloudRanger — cloud-native, enterprise backup and disaster recovery for AWS.

Druva has positioned its software to go up against traditional backup vendors Commvault and Veritas, which are also increasing their data management focus. It also competes with startups Rubrik and Cohesity, with their converged data protection and management appliances for secondary storage.

Druva claims about 4,000 customers.

Cohesity backup replaces legacy EMC at Piedmont HealthCare

Cohesity advertises its scale-out data protection system as an answer for all secondary storage needs, but some shops just want a better answer for their old-fashioned backup products.

That was the case with Piedmont HealthCare, a medical group with more than 50 locations and 1,000 employees throughout North Carolina. Byron Williams, Piedmont’s IT infrastructure manager, said the medical group switched to Cohesity backup after growing frustrated with its legacy data protection products.

Piedmont had used legacy backup stalwarts from Dell EMC — NetWorker software and Data Domain deduplication disk targets. Williams said the combination was complex and wasted a lot of time.

“If a backup failed, troubleshooting took a long time,” he said of the Dell EMC backup products. “We had to reach out to EMC support to pull the logs. Sometimes, it took a day just to hear back from them after reviewing the logs, and your backup job might not get fixed until the next day.

“With Cohesity, the process of adding a virtual machine to the backup job takes just a few clicks. With NetWorker, sometimes you have to install a NetWorker agent, configure the agent on the virtual machine and then come back to NetWorker to finish the configuration. It’s very time-consuming.”

Cohesity backup consists of its DataProtect software either integrated on DataPlatform appliances or as virtual appliances; Piedmont bought the appliance option. Williams said he had never heard of Cohesity when he started his search for better backup in mid-2017, but Piedmont’s IT service provider SHI International recommended the relative newcomer. Williams said he was hooked from the first demo of Cohesity’s DataPlatform.

“We liked the web interface, the way you set policies … it was night and day compared to what we had,” he said. “We knew from the demo it would do everything we wanted to do.”

Williams said it was “nice to get away from” the Java-based NetWorker interface.

Still, before closing the deal, Piedmont also looked at Rubrik — another scale-out converged data protection vendor. Williams said Rubrik’s product also impressed him, until he saw the price.

“Rubrik was a nice product, but when they came back with what it would cost, it wasn’t even close to Cohesity,” he said.

In October 2017, Piedmont purchased two Cohesity C2500 appliances, each with 96 TB of raw hard disk drive capacity and 6.4 TB of PCI Express flash. The healthcare firm installed the appliances in data centers 25 miles apart, replicating backed-up data between them for disaster recovery.

The healthcare company switched to Cohesity at the same time it installed a new Pure Storage all-flash array. Cohesity supports array-based snapshots on Pure’s storage.

Piedmont now backs up all of its more than 100 virtual machines to Cohesity, using its DataProtect software for Citrix servers, Microsoft Exchange and SQL, all domain controllers, and most of its healthcare applications.

Williams said he sees an average 2-to-1 data deduplication ratio with Cohesity backup software.

He said the biggest benefit since switching is “the time it saves us. When we go to recover a file or a whole VM, that process is simple. There’s a Recover button on the dashboard, and it takes three steps to recover. It’s a lot quicker than NetWorker. That took 10 steps or more.”

Piedmont made the transition by pointing Cohesity backup jobs at DataPlatform appliances, rather than at Data Domain, while keeping backed-up data on the EMC targets during the switch over for insurance. Williams said he still uses Data Domain for data from an AIX server, because he is waiting for Cohesity to add an AIX client.

Williams said while Piedmont doesn’t use Cohesity for advertised secondary storage use cases such as archiving and analytics, he does find its test/dev features valuable.

“You can just take one of the snapshots you have for your backups, spin up a clone of it and have a test environment running from Cohesity,” he said. “When you’re done testing, it’s really easy to destroy that environment.”

Catalogic Software teams up with Storware data protection

Catalogic Software is living on the edge.

The data protection vendor, based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., said today it has taken an equity stake in Storware, a European data protection company, and formed an exclusive distribution agreement to sell Storware’s products in North America. The partnership also means the two companies will work together on developing technology.

The distribution agreement covers two major Storware products: Kodo and vProtect.

The vProtect offering is an enterprise backup product that covers the edge hypervisor market, said Sathya Sankaran, vice president of business development and field CTO at Catalogic. That coverage includes Citrix XenServer, Xen, Red Hat Virtualization, Nutanix Acropolis and KVM, but not the top two hypervisors, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.

While there is a lot of support for Hyper-V and vSphere, the edge hypervisor market is largely untapped, Sankaran said, and vProtect is especially geared toward enterprises with what he called emerging workloads.

“We felt the technology has huge potential,” he said.

Organizations can deploy vProtect as a stand-alone product or use it as a backup staging platform, feeding backup data into IBM Spectrum Protect, Veritas NetBackup, Dell EMC NetWorker or Catalogic’s new vStor backup repository, which can be found in the latest update to its DPX data protection software.

“It plays nice with what you have on premise,” Sankaran said.

Kodo is a data protection software suite for desktops and laptops, mobile devices and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms Office 365 and Box.

Sankaran said he hopes to see an increase in the number of supported SaaS providers to include the likes of Salesforce, G Suite and Dropbox.

Catalogic Software, which has close to 1,000 customers, has become known for its copy data management, found in its ECX product.

Sankaran said Storware has been on Catalogic’s radar since late last year and culturally “fit us like a glove.”

The two companies can play off each other’s strengths, said Catalogic Software CEO Ken Barth.

“As we look at this evolving market of data protection, it looks more like data management to us,” Barth said. “The broader the coverage we felt was very important.”

Docker and OpenStack are also primary targets on Catalogic’s roadmap.

While Catalogic did not provide details on its equity in Storware, Sankaran said it is a substantial minority stake.

Kodo and vProtect are both available now from Catalogic Software.

‘Common DNA’ between Catalogic, Storware

There is very little overlap here, and some great synergies.
Paweł MaczkaCTO, Storware

The alliance with Catalogic Software is part of Storware’s strategy to improve its standing in the North American market, said Paweł Maczka, CTO of Storware, which is based in Warsaw, Poland. With the deal, Catalogic essentially becomes Storware’s North American arm. Catalogic can also sell Storware products in Europe — just not in an exclusive manner.

“What’s more, we do believe that there is common DNA between the two organizations,” Maczka wrote in an email. “Both are experienced vendors with the same approach to the market, specializing in enterprise backup and recovery. The alliance with Catalogic will help spread awareness of Storware technology, and in the end, the knowledge exchange between the two organizations will strengthen both teams.”

Maczka said Storware has expertise in hypervisors, mobile platforms and endpoints, while Catalogic Software has proficiency in enterprise storage, high-end database applications and handling a large volume of metadata in a searchable catalog.

“There is very little overlap here, and some great synergies,” Maczka wrote. “We’ve had many joint whiteboard sessions where we’ve been planning out ways to combine these joint strengths into new solutions.”

The two companies have integrated vProtect with Catalogic vStor. In addition to expanding into more SaaS offerings, the companies plan to explore other “underserved” markets, such as containers and next-generation databases, Maczka said.

“Providing effective protection and recovery in these areas is a growing concern for many organizations,” Maczka wrote. “Catalogic and Storware are perfectly placed to address these challenges.”

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac.

Brand new and still sealed.

Extend your full Apple warranty to 3 years from date of iMac purchase. Your iMac must be within its first year to be able to extend.

Price and currency: £85
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Saffron Walden
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac.

Brand new and still sealed.

Extend your full Apple warranty to 3 years from date of iMac purchase. Your iMac must be within its first year to be able to extend.

Price and currency: £95
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Saffron Walden
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac.

Brand new and still sealed.

Extend your full Apple warranty to 3 years from date of iMac purchase. Your iMac must be within its first year to be able to extend.

Price and currency: £95
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Saffron Walden
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac