Datadobi adds Azure Blob as unstructured data storage target

Datadobi DobiProtect has gained support for Azure Blob, extending its cross-protocol replication capabilities between NAS and cloud object storage beyond S3-compatible targets.

Datadobi has updated its DobiProtect product to enable NAS-to-Azure Blob replication, offering its customers a cloud object storage target besides AWS S3.

In DobiProtect 5.11, customers can move unstructured data from any NAS or cloud file system to Azure Blob cloud object storage. Use cases for this function include storage cost optimization, long-term retention and creating a second, air-gapped copy to defend against ransomware. Before today's update, DobiProtect users could only do this with AWS S3-compatible cloud object storage targets.

DobiProtect is Datadobi's migration engine repurposed for data protection use cases. It can replicate unstructured data from one NAS system to another, from one object storage to another or from NAS to S3.

Datadobi is a migration vendor, but customers have been using its flagship DobiMigrate to create air-gapped vaults for their unstructured data, Datadobi CTO Carl D'Halluin said. That use case has grown over the past two years, prompting the release of DobiProtect in September 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have more willingly adopted the cloud, D'Halluin said. Customers' initial fears of security and latency have been mostly addressed, and they're now using the cloud to protect or offload their unstructured data.

"The pandemic accelerated the cloud tremendously. People are reshuffling their unstructured data and rebalancing their budget for the cloud," D'Halluin said.

Datadobi's products already support Azure Files and Azure NetApp Files, so the Azure Blob support is both addressing customer demand and "completing the Azure picture," D'Halluin said. Datadobi has plans to support Azure Files NFS 4.1 when it's generally available.

The pandemic accelerated the cloud tremendously. People are reshuffling their unstructured data and rebalancing their budget for the cloud.
Carl D'HalluinCTO, Datadobi

DobiProtect is not backup software such as Veeam or Commvault, which typically protect virtual machines and databases. It doesn't remove any data from storage sources -- it only creates copies on a NAS or object storage destination. Datadobi plans to add third-party backup software integration to DobiProtect in a future release, along with other features such as a tool for identifying what data should be moved or protected.

Datadobi is better compared to multi-environment data migration tools such as StrongBox, Komprise and Hammerspace. With DobiProtect, Datadobi steps into the same market as any data protection vendor that addresses unstructured data at scale. Igneous Systems, which Rubrik acquired in December 2020, was one of Datadobi's most direct competitors.

Virtual machines and databases are higher priorities when it comes to data protection, but customers are recognizing the need to protect unstructured data as well, said Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group. Examples of critical unstructured data include home directories and machine-generated data. In the latter case, the data can grow quickly, emphasizing the need for cost-efficient storage.

"Unstructured data is becoming mission-critical to the business, meaning it requires protection. And it's growing at an extremely fast pace, so for many enterprises, data stores are shifting more toward unstructured than to structured data," Macomber said.

DobiProtect is the vendor using its existing migration capabilities to hop on this trend, Macomber said. Datadobi already had wide NAS and object support in order to be a good migration product, and now that support enables heterogeneity from a data protection standpoint. Being able to move data from NAS to S3 or Azure Blob and then recover it to any target provides a lot of flexibility for customers, Macomber said.

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