OpenDrives now a backup target through Zmanda deal

OpenDrives Ultra
OpenDrives Ultra

NAS supplier OpenDrives has set its product up as a backup target through a deal with Zmanda and its open source Amanda Enterprise backup software.

OpenDrives provides scale-out and high-performance NAS systems to hundreds of media and entertainment companies, such as HBO, CBS Sports, Spotify and Sony Interactive Entertainment, and also into healthcare and the advertising world. Zmanda provides on-premises backup software. Betsol, a data management and automation supplier  bought Zmanda in 2018. The Betsol-OpenDrives partnership will deliver a container-native enterprise backup and recovery (EBR) offering integrated with OpenDrives’ NAS systems for OpenDrives’ customers. It should have throughput up to 15GB/sec.

Sean Lee, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at OpenDrives, said of the announcement: “Container-native EBR provides a cost-effective way to run this critical workflow at scale. For enterprise organizations, the sheer volume of data moving within backup and restore procedures demands high-performance – partnering with Zmanda allows us to accelerate both throughput speeds and deployment.”  

OpenDrives Amanda use diagram

The joint system features:

  • On-storage EBR software that is containerized for increased performance and eliminates need for separate backup server
  • Immutable snapshots to combat ransomware attacks
  • Intelligent, touch-free scheduling for automated backup support, said to reduce operational overhead and human error. 
  • All-inclusive licensing model and centralized customer support  
  • Legacy service for current clients and hosts, including those running on Solaris
  • Intuitive UI with clear terminology for admin functions to reduce training time
  • Turnkey EBR solution that scales to any enterprise data environment

Get a solutions brief document here.


We have not heard of Zmanda or Betsol before and did some research, finding out that the open source Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver (Amanda) software running on Unix systems was initially developed at the University of Maryland in 1991, 31 years ago, the IT client:server Stone Age. Zmanda was started up in 2005 in Sunnyvale and develops and maintains Amanda. The SW executes on a server and backs up multiple client systems on a network, contacting each client to run a backup at scheduled times. Zmanda provides a commercial release of Amanda with a GUI and optional S3 cloud backup.

Zmanda was acquired by Carbonite in 2012, and Betsol bought it from Carbonite in 2018, when it protected more than 1 million systems worldwide and had hundreds of enterprise customers. It complemented Betsol’s Rebit consumer and SMB-focussed product. The OpenDrives-Zmanda announcement says: “Zmanda has protected over 1 million servers  and served customers in 40+ countries since 1991.“ 

The number of protected servers has remained constant since 2018 and the software has an old school flavor about it. For example, Zmanda has a forum for registered users and this is dated in appearance:

Zmanda has a list explaining/claiming why Amanda Enterprise is different from other backup products:

We registered at the Zmanda Network and downloaded the 17-page “Advantages of Amanda over Proprietary Backup Software” white paper. There is no publication date but it is potentially a bit dated, as it states: “most commercial backup software packages have not yet released support for IPv6 and do not provide backup to a storage cloud.” 

Au contraire Zmanda, most commercial backup software packages do provide backup to a storage cloud. The paper also cites traditional NetWorker, NetBackup and BackupExec as proprietary product examples, and not Cohesity, Rubrik or Veeam. It does have a good explanation of Amanda’s features though.

A v3.5.2 Amanda community edition release in July this year ensured that the tapes with old data are not overwritten with new backup set data. The v4.3.1 release of the Zmanda SW at the same time integrated LDAP, simplified user management and improved data restoration.

Zmanda makes extravagant claims about its backup software, viz: “Zmanda’s mission is to strive and set the standard for data protection and recovery,” and, “we [st]rive to deliver the best enterprise data management solution. With the 4.1.3 release, we have done it by offering extraordinary new features and enhancements.”

We’ll leave you to make up your own mind.

All this is a long way from the data protection world of Cohesity, Commvault Metallic, Druva, HYCU, Rubrik and Veeam.