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Nakivo backup supports Nutanix AHV in latest update

In its quest to reach feature parity with Veeam, backup software vendor Nakivo adds support for the Nutanix AHV hypervisor and the ability to replicate VMs from backup sets.

Nakivo Backup & Replication added a new pricing model option and support for the Nutanix AHV hypervisor with its 8.5 release.

Nakivo's per-machine subscription pricing ranges from $18 per virtual machine, per year, for its most basic features package to $53 per VM, per year, for its Enterprise package. Nakivo Backup & Replication customers can still choose its original perpetual, per-socket licensing model, which ranges from $99 per socket to $599 per socket, depending on the features package.

With hyper-converged vendor Nutanix gaining traction with its KVM-based hypervisor, Nakivo expanded its hypervisor support. Nakivo Backup & Replication already supported VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

'New opportunities' with Nutanix

Veniamin Simonov, director of product management at Nakivo, based in Sparks, Nev., said the vendor saw growing market interest in AHV. According to Nutanix, 40% of the hyper-converged nodes it sold over the past year run AHV.

"Recently, we saw lot of movement to this platform. There are a lot of new opportunities, as more customers are using Acropolis," Simonov said.

The hypervisor space is heating up, said George Crump, chief steward at IT analysis firm Storage Switzerland. He said he saw this update as a sound, strategic move for Nakivo.

"I don't know how big AHV will be, but to me, the bigger story is how hypervisor is making headway," Crump said. "It's a very intense market. And support of that is good, obviously."

However, Nakivo's AHV support comes too late for Nutanix to include it in its Mine backup product, which it launched last week. Nutanix Mine is a backup target that integrates backup applications from Veeam, HYCU, Commvault, Veritas and Unitrends. Nutanix expects to have integration from those vendors completed by the end of 2020, with Mine for Veeam and Mine for HYCU planned for 2019.

Nakivo can support Nutanix AHV with other vendors' backup targets, but will not get the push from Nutanix channel partners that Mine partners can receive.

Nakivo Backup & Replication 8.5 also introduced the ability to replicate VMs from the backup set instead of from primary storage. This feature reduces load on the production environment, because it does not have to take another snapshot to replicate the VM. Crump described this as like having a "cold or turned-off VM ready to go."

"An RPO [recovery point objective] of the last backup and an RTO [recovery time objective] of 'turn on the VM' is going to be acceptable for a lot of systems," Crump said. "I think this 'medium availability' will be well-received."

Screenshot of Nakivo's interface
Nakivo Backup & Replication added direct replication from backups and other features in version 8.5.

Nakivo remains aggressive with feature set

I don't know how big AHV will be, but to me, the bigger story is how hypervisor is making headway. It's a very intense market. And support of that is good, obviously.
George CrumpChief steward, Storage Switzerland

Other new features added to Nakivo Backup & Replication in this update are FreeNAS compatibility, Windows Server 2019 support, Raspberry Pi support and an automated update capability.

Launched in 2012, Nakivo Backup & Replication is a relative newcomer in the data protection space. Nakivo has stuck to an aggressive, quarterly release schedule to try to reach feature parity with other vendors in the market.

Crump said Nakivo tries to compete with Veeam in the VM backup space on price. The features gap between the two has narrowed, so customers might be attracted to Nakivo if it has the features they want and remains the lower-cost option. However, Crump said competing on price is always risky business in the world of software.

"What I see here, for the most part, is feature parity with Veeam, with the exception of some of the things Veeam is doing in the cloud," Crump said. "In a sense, they're saying, 'We can give you the features you care about that Veeam gives you, for less money.' I always get nervous when a company tries to compete on price, because if Veeam, because it's software, decides it doesn't want to lose deals anymore, all they have to do is cut their prices."

Simonov said he is confident Nakivo offers a lower price than its competitors, whether a customer picks the perpetual license or the new per-machine option. He said Nakivo, despite being a newer vendor, isn't behind in the market on features, quality or customer support, but lacks the brand awareness of more established vendors.

Crump said if Nakivo continues its quarterly release schedule, it may soon turn into a better product than Veeam. In the meantime, Crump pointed out that Nakivo is effectively sidestepping its largest competitor by targeting smaller companies instead of aggressively going after large enterprises like Veeam.

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