At Tech Field Day 5, we learned about Druva (formerly Druvaa), who has developed a completely new mobile backup product. Not sure if the world needed another one, I listened closely to how they were going to differentiate themselves. First, I can say that they definitely understood the needs of the mobile backup market. It’s very difficult to backup large amounts of data over very small, very unreliable connections while simultaneously remaining virtually invisible to the end user. But at least they know that’s what they have to do to be successful.
They claim to do this using application-aware deduplication, where they understand 87 different data types, and dedupe them all in the optimum way for that application. (The story reminded me very much of Ocarina’s story.) They don’t start backing up the machine as soon as there is a connection; they wait a user-configurable time (default 15 mins) before starting up.
They also automatically detect the type of connection you’re using, and alternate between smaller/bigger packet sizes, more/less compression, fewer/more connections based on what they observe the connection to behave like.
The client side of the application is 40 MB, which is a relatively small size these days.
There is definitely a market for this type of product. There are also a number of “dead soldiers” in that market. I hope that Druva is able to exactly what they say and is able to differentiate themselves enough to carve out their own niche. One interesting fact is that they got 600 customers before they officially launched the product. Perhaps they will be different!