Igneous builds cloud-native data protection service atop Amazon S3

Igneous has built a software-only version of its DataProtect backup and archive, using Amazon’s four S3 stores as a file backup target. According to the company this removes the need for on-premises backup hardware and offline tape storage for archived data.

Announcing the data protection-as-a-service, Igneous yesterday described AWS Glacier Deep Archive as ‘an economic game-changer, allowing customers options never before considered – such as moving on-premises backup and restore services to public cloud”. 

The four AWS S3 targets are S3, Standard-IA. Glacier, and Glacier Deep Archive. Igneous said these cloud targets are vastly more scalable than legacy or existing on-premises target stores.

The cloud is also cheaper, according to Igneous’s numbers for 1PB of capacity for five years:

On-premises appliance input costs:

  • Hardware (usable TB) – $!28 – $280
  • Data centre space (RU) – $210 – $275
  • Power and cooling – (TB/Y) – $5.36 – $7.92
  • Networking (per port) – $136 – $512
  • R and S time ($317/RU) – $317
  • Time to implementation – 4 weeks

The total is $178,469 to $354,492.

Backup to cloud input costs:

  • Cloud Object (usable TB/Yr) – $12.7 – $49.16
  • Request Costs – $0.10 – $0.50
  • Networking (per port) – $136 – $512
  • 10GbitE Direct Connect (Yr) – $19,710
  • Restore Cost (3%/TB/Yr) – $52 – $62
  • Time to implementation – 4 hours

The total is $77,303 to $260,910.

At the mid-points the on-premises appliance costs $266,481 compared to $169,107 for cloud backup..

The house that Igneous built

Igneous Inc. is a venture-backed startup. Based in Seattle, the company first came to market with an unstructured data management-as-a-service. Its software is cloud-native and can handle billions of files.

With its new DataProtect-as-a-Backup-Service Direct to AWS, on-premises primary file storage is backed up using Igneous agent software running in a virtual machine. The company has built the service using three home-grown technologies, DataDiscovery, DataProtect and DataFlow.

DataDiscover provides the file discovery and indexing service, building an indexing and metadata store in an Igneous cloud. Scans run up to 1.6 billion files per hour. Data Protect kicks off backups from on-premises targets and is policy-driven. Data transfers via DataFlow uses parallel ingest streams to speed things up.

DataDiscover has API access to popular NAS targets such as NetApp, Isilon, Qumulo and Pure Storage filers, which accelerates file discovery on these systems. The software handles petabytes of data in multiple locations, Igneous said.

DataFlow copies, moves and syncs files automatically, and this enables Igneous’s DPaaS to migrate files – for instance from site-to-site via replication or from site-to-cloud. If local storage is needed the target can be an on-premises version of S3.

DataDiscover GUI showing file systems’ capacity and files grouped by age.


Providing data protection as a service is the coming trend in backup. Many on-premises backup suppliers can send backups to the cloud – Veeam and Rubrik and Cohesity, for instance. Like Druva and Clumio, Igneous says its software is cloud-native and can therefore operate more efficiently. It also relieves customers of the need for an on-premises backup hardware appliance.

Cloud-native DPaaS providers will almost inevitably offer protection against cyber-threats and layer on data analytics and copy data management services on top. This is the new frontier for backup.