HYCU for Nutanix Helping to Reinvent Data Protection for AHV and ESXi

June 11, 2018

As we know, backup and recovery for Hyper-converged infrastructure is different.

For many organizations that have invested in a better way to manage IT, deploy applications and leverage the cloud, consolidating server, storage and networking is a no-brainer. However, the challenge remains how best to complement existing data protection functionality without adding complexity and a separate infrastructure to deploy and manage. The unfortunate reality is that many organizations still turn to legacy backup and recovery to augment data protection with their hyper-converged infrastructure.

It’s our fundamental belief there is a better way to introduce data protection especially for Nutanix Enterprise Cloud customers.

The simplicity which many organizations look to from their Nutanix solutions should be enhanced by backup and recovery, not hindered or derailed. 1-click recovery, seeing into Virtual Machines (VMs) and being truly application aware along with being hypervisor agnostic are additional features we believe should be part of any truly purpose-built data protection solution for HCI.

This was the background for our recent webinar on Thursday, June 7 when Paul Nashawaty, our chief evangelist, shared more on HYCU Data Protection for Nutanix and what makes it truly next-generation. For our growing customer base that needed a tightly integrated AHV data protection solution, they have grown as we have grown. Since its introduction HYCU for Nutanix now supports not just AHV but ESXi as well as non-Nutanix virtualized workloads. And, that’s not all. In addition to continuing to add application support, we are now the first company to support Nutanix Files (formerly Nutanix AFS) as well as Nutanix CALM. And that’s only the beginning.


As Paul mentioned on the webinar, he covered off on what makes HYCU for Nutanix truly different from other approaches to HCI data protection. The following graphic describes it best:


THE HYCU Advantage

THE HYCU Advantage



There were several good questions that came up during the presentation, and we thought now would be a good opportunity to address a few.

We’ll make a point of sharing answers to more questions that have also come up since the close of the webinar on our blog here as well. So stay tuned for future blog entries. In the meantime, here are a few really good questions we knew we couldn’t wait much longer to answer.

Question: Is there any place I can see HYCU for Nutanix videos, including recommendations on deploying and using HYCU?

Answer: The simple answer is yes. We have a YouTube channel where you can find several videos, and we’re fortunate in that many in the community have shared video insights as well. A couple definitely worth checking out come courtesy of Dwayne Lessner, technical marketing manager at Nutanix and blogger at IT Blood Pressure. Dwayne looked at ESXi Backup with Nutanix Snapshots and HYCU along with backing up virtual machines from replicated Nutanix snapshots.

Question: Which applications does HYCU support for app-consistent protection?

Answer: HYCU currently support Oracle, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange and active directory.  We are continuously adding new support to our offering and soon will be announcing additional enterprise  application protection.

Question: If we lose our Nutanix all together, how do we access the HYCU management interface?

Answer: Since HYCU is also a virtual machine that runs right on Nutanix infrastructure, we also backup HYCU and always have a ready to go disk image of the latest version. In the event of a total cluster loss, all you need to do is bring up a Nutanix Cluster and create a VM by pointing to the most recent HYCU disk image. When the HYCU controller starts, the system will automatically remember all of the targets, backups, policies, where they are, etc.

Question: Do I have to have Nutanix as primary and secondary storage to deploy HYCU?

Answer: HYCU supports a wide variety of backups targets, including Nutanix storage dense nodes. You can utilize any NFS, SMB or iSCSI or cloud targets like AWS S3, Azure and S3 Compatible storage.

Question: You mentioned change file tracking. Does it mean HYCU doesn't leverage change block tracking?

Answer: Actually, HYCU leverages both change file tracking as well as change block tracking. For applications and virtual machines, HYCU leverages change block tracking (CBT) and for Nutanix Files (formerly Nutanix AFS), HYCU leverages change file tracking (CFT).

Question: In an AHV environment that already has a backup cluster for DR failover and you push to AWS for cloud archiving, what features does HYCU offer that exceeds those already offered by native Nutanix?

Answer: During the session, we discussed the additional value of adding HYCU to the Nutanix data protection layer. Nutanix provides a great foundational data protection layer and HYCU complements it with automated application discovery, application consistent backup, application aware granular recovery, file level recovery, web-based self-service recovery, backup to non-Nutanix enterprise backup targets, automated archives, and many more.


The great questions were not the only interesting items to come out of the Webinar. There were several polling questions worth noting. AHV, of course. And, as Nutanix has reported as recent as May 24 during quarterly earnings , 33% of users are using AHV as a percentage of Nutanix nodes sold, continuing the momentum around AHV adoption.


HYCU for Nutanix Helping to Reinvent Data Protection for AHV and ESXi

Polling question: What Hypervisor are you currently using on Nutanix?


Beyond the use of hypervisors, Nutanix is most definitely gaining traction as a primary production platform as well. When webinar attendees were asked what % of their infrastructure runs on Nutanix, nearly half noted that 50+% currently runs on Nutanix. No surprise that they continue to post strong earnings results.


What % of your compute infrastructure right now runs on Nutanix?

Polling question: What % of your compute infrastructure right now runs on Nutanix?


When attendees were asked what storage system they were currently using for backup, answers varied from traditional NFS and SCSI storage to off premises and cloud platforms.


What kind of storage system are you using for backup today?

Polling question: What kind of storage system are you using for backup today?


If you missed the webinar, you can see a replay here. You can also give HYCU for Nutanix a try by downloading a free trial at tryhycu.com. If you do, we’ll make sure to send you a sharp HYCU polo. Polos are available for a limited time, so download today! We’re confident, you’ll like what you see and will want to bring HYCU into your organization to protect both data and applications for your Nutanix Enterprise Cloud.

For the many that took the time to join Paul and the rest of us on our webinar, we thank you and look forward to continuing to invest to make your Nutanix data protection experience the best it can be.

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Seriously, you really need to experience HYCU to believe it.