The Silicon Review
The central design principle at Datrium has always been simplicity. We understand how complex the data center is today and strive every day to make our products and services simple and easy to use so our customers can have one less thing to worry about: Tim Page
Infrastructure complexity is at the heart of most data center challenges. While the pace of modern business is accelerating, the weight of aging infrastructure can hold companies back and cost organizations first-mover advantage, market share and even financial viability. While hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has simplified some data center problems, it has also introduced a new set of limitations.
Datrium has designed a high end HCI platform that resolves the limitations of traditional HCI and provides high performance at-scale with built-in backup on-prem and in the cloud. Datrium customers report 10x better performance, 10x faster recovery time, and 10x lower cloud costs than their previous infrastructure was capable of delivering. According to Datrium, hundreds of enterprises have already modernized their data center infrastructure using Datrium DVX to reduce complexity and gain competitive advantage for their business. You can learn more at www.datrium.com.
Datrium was established in 2012 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
Tim Page, Datrium CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Why was the company set up?
Datrium is led by the founders and early top architects of Data Domain and VMware who, back in 2012, foresaw a fundamental shift in infrastructure convergence, particularly as it related to hybrid cloud computing. Although webscale approaches like HCI had been introduced to handle some of the challenges of traditional converged infrastructure, hyperscalers had long since abandoned that approach in favor of an approach that addressed the performance and scale necessary for unpredictable mixed workloads for their Infrastructure-as-a-Service businesses. The early Datrium team saw this as an opportunity to go beyond HCI to address the needs of the large multi-cloud enterprise.
How successful was your first project? Share the experience.
Datrium began shipping products in 2016 and has seen record customer adoption. Since then, Datrium has introduced 3 major product releases evolving the capabilities to meet mission-critical enterprise expectations. Datrium has converged high end HCI with built-in backup on-prem and in the cloud with an approach that mirrors the Amazon EC2/S3 architecture, but designed for the enterprise. A single system scales massively on-prem—128 compute nodes and more than a petabyte of capacity—while providing a seamless backup experience with the AWS cloud. Over the first two years, Datrium has deployed thousands of nodes to customers around the world.
What challenges did your customers face in the initial years?
As we talked with enterprises, we learned that they were struggling with ways to modernize and simplify their sprawling and rigid traditional infrastructure. The issue was maintaining consistent low latency data access to mission-critical applications while bridging to cloud for future initiatives. At the same time, protecting their critical data with legacy backup methods was extremely time consuming and expensive. Finally, as they began exploring how to adopt new emerging cloud services they found them to be very complex to configure and implement which cost them even more over time. Both older converged infrastructure as well as traditional HCI approaches fell short, and options for modernization seemed limited.
Explain the current technology/ IT landscape.
The hyperscale data centers at Amazon and Google have evolved beyond the webscale, hyper-converged infrastructure-like approach in favor of a new highly scalable 2-layer architecture that delivers faster application performance while securely protecting data without expensive, complex backup systems. A 2-layer approach splits application and IO processing in a performance layer (e.g. AWS EC2) from durable capacity (e.g. AWS S3) in a protection layer. Datrium is the first company to develop and deliver this new 2-layer infrastructure adapted for enterprise customers so they can scale performance easily while improving availability with less IT investment.
Please explain your products and services.
Datrium DVX is an on-premise high end HCI solution for enterprise and service provider cloud data centers. Datrium compute nodes provide performance for multi-hypervisor environments, delivering 10x lower latency than alternatives, while data nodes ensure durable protection of business-critical data. Every DVX includes innovative data services that protect, analyze, and manage data with maximum efficiency. A built-in backup catalog with industry-leading end-to-end encryption and regular integrity validation gives enterprises peace of mind and 10x better recovery.
Datrium DVX is also available as a cloud-native service called Cloud DVX that automates the backup and recovery of mission-critical data between hosts in an on-prem data center and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Industry-leading global cloud deduplication combines with forever incremental backups to lower AWS cost by 90%.
Datrium provides a single management interface across enterprise data centers and public cloud so IT can administer the hybrid cloud at the virtual machine level supported by real-time analytics and without all the detailed configuration time of traditional data center infrastructure.
How do you manage to resist/serve the needs of the highly volatile market or how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs?
The central design principle at Datrium has always been simplicity. We understand how complex the data center is today and strive every day to make our products and services simple and easy to use so our customers can have one less thing to worry about. A few examples of Datrium simplicity include always-on data efficiency and always on data protection so enterprises don’t have to configure it by type of data; it’s just always on with no knobs to turn. Cloud DVX is a simple service that protects data in the cloud automatically with no customer configuration; all they need are AWS access credentials and Datrium does the rest. By making everything Datrium simple, we help our customers cope with the ever-changing complexity of their data center.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
At Datrium, we believe product quality is a must, but we go beyond that by investing heavily in supporting our enterprise customers’ success globally. We view our knowledgeable staff as an extension of our customers’ team, so we stand ready to address problems fast, often before a customer is aware of an issue and even if the root cause is unrelated to Datrium DVX. Datrium uses predictive analytics to mine telemetry data from all systems to identify problems before they affect operations, and responds accordingly. This dedication to giving our customers a total quality experience is why global enterprises trust their mission-critical data to Datrium systems.
If you have to list five success factors, what would they be?
How does your company contribute to the global IT platform at large?
Datrium’s mission is to run and protect any application on any cloud, provide for data mobility across clouds, and enable organizations to govern all their data centrally.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be launched?
Datrium will soon be announcing the latest release of DVX (4.1) which will expand security, recovery, and cloud services for mission-critical data at large enterprises and service providers.
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Tim Page, CEO: Tim Page has spent over 25 years in the high tech industry in positions relating primarily to software, ERP, storage and service sales. He started his career as a software engineer in a new product company and then worked his way through pre-sales, sales, operations and numerous global operating positions.
As the Chief Operating Officer of Sprinklr, Mr Page helped the social enterprise software company connect its internal functions and scale an operational model necessary to support Sprinklr’s rapid growth. Sprinklr is now valued at $1.8 billion.
Previously, he was one of the founding members of VCE and served as the COO, helping bring the firm to a $3B+ run rate in just six years. Mr Page led the delivery of a new generation of cloud-based solutions that have transformed the agility and profitability of some of the world’s largest enterprises.
Brian Biles, CPO/Co-founder: Brian Biles has over 30 years experience in systems and software products and marketing. He started his career in sales at Data General and then worked in product marketing and business development at Sun Microsystems and VA Linux Systems.
As a founder at Data Domain, Brian led Product Management and Business Development for almost 8 years until the company was acquired by EMC in 2009 for over $2 billion. After leaving EMC in 2012, Mr. Biles co-founded Datrium and now serves as Chief Product Officer.
Hugo Patterson, Chief Scientist and Co-founder: Prior to Datrium, Hugo was an EMC Fellow serving as CTO of the EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division, and the Chief Architect and CTO of Data Domain (acquired by EMC in 2009), where he built the first deduplication storage system. Prior to that, he was the engineering lead at NetApp, developing SnapVault, the first snap-and-replicate disk-based backup product.
Mr Patterson has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.