DCIG Quick Look: Comtrade HYCU Dives Deeper into the Nutanix Backup Pool

Comtrade Software’s release of HYCU backup software a few months ago validated that Nutanix’s impact on the enterprise data center was real as HYCU specifically targets Nutanix backup environments. But one release does not a product make. That’s what makes Comtrade’s follow-on announcement notable. HYCU’s expanded support for more applications and cloud solutions, addition of new encryption features, and tweaks to more quickly complete backups reflect Comtrade’s commitment to diving deeper into the protection of Nutanix AOS environments.

HYCU (pronounced “Hi”-“Q” – a spin on the Japanese word “haiku”) represents the first backup software specifically designed for Nutanix backup environments. Further, the hundred plus customers already trying the software with more customers coming on every month bear evidence that the market is receptive for backup software tuned to the nuances of the Nutanix backup operating environment.

Only three months after its formal June 2017 release, Comtrade Software is back at it making waves with a new, ramped up version of HYCU. Unlike its initial splash in the Nutanix backup pool, the features found in this latest release reflect Comtrade’s commitment to diving deeper into Nutanix backups introducing the types of features that organizations need HYCU to possess to deploy it more widely in their environments. For instance:

  • Active Directory Support. The use of Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is prevalent among all organizations of all sizes. This dictates that any backup software which hopes to have any prayer of broad adoption must support this application. This release of HYCU introduces support for Microsoft AD to include leveraging Microsoft AD to do automated application discovery as well as performing consistent backup and recovery of Microsoft AD.
  • Expanded support for encryption. Many of Comtrade’s initial customers are in government (federal, state, and local) who therefore require their data to be encrypted. While the first version did support encryption, this most recent release provides end-to-end software encryption from the source to the target and backs it with FIPS compliance.
  • Got religion about S3. The first release of HYCU supported AWS but not everyone supports and/or wants to use AWS, especially service providers who may offer their own S3 compliant solutions that compete with AWS. This release of HYCU gives organizations the flexibility to use alternative S3 compliant solutions such as Cloudian and Scality.
  • Capitalized on Nutanix’s scale-out storage protocol, Acropolis Block Services (ABS), for faster backups. Organizations want to keep production and backup storage pools separate but a growing number of them want to use Nutanix for both their primary and secondary storage pools using Nutanix Storage Dense nodes in their backup storage pools. Recognizing this growing trend, Comtrade jumped on it by leveraging the Nutanix ABS to transfer data from the Nutanix production nodes to the secondary system serving to shorten backup windows. Further, by moving data to a secondary cluster, it preserves the integrity of the data on each cluster.

This latest set of features introduced into HYCU are unlikely to cause any tsunamis in the data protection space in terms of shaking things up. At their core, this latest release of HYCU provides features such as support for AD, encryption, and S3 storage targets other than AWS while accelerating backups between Nutanix clusters. These features provide the justification that organizations need to roll out HYCU more broadly in their environments. Yet it is these types of enhancements that reflects Comtrade’s commitment to developing and enhancing the product in response to evolving user demands that perhaps means as much or more than the features they just announced.