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HYCU software becomes independent company

Nine months ago, Comtrade Software launched HYCU software designed specifically to back up Nutanix hyper-converged systems. Now Comtrade Software has become HYCU.

Comtrade Software today officially rebranded as HYCU (haiku), a company dedicated to developing and selling HYCU Data Protection for Nutanix. Simon Taylor, previously Comtrade Software’s president, becomes HYCU CEO. Comtrade Group isn’t completely cutting the cord. The IT company with more than $400 million in annual revenue remains the majority owner of HYCU. But Taylor said Boston-based HYCU will be “operationally independent” with more than 300 employees including engineers in Europe.

Along with the rebranding, HYCU added new hires Scott Henderson as Sales VP of the Americas, Junelle Swan as VP of Channel and Paul Nashawaty as chief evangelist. HYCU has its own board.

With the rebranding, HYCU is literally betting the house on data protection for Nutanix. Taylor said HYCU has around 100 customers worldwide.

“Nutanix’s growth has been so exceptional,” Taylor said of Nutanix’s 44% year-over-year revenue growth last quarter. “We see them as people saw VMware 10 years ago. They’ve established themselves as an independent platform that becomes a pivotal thing for the way the rest of the data center runs. We want to scale alongside and in addition to Nutanix’s growth.”

Taylor compared HYCU’s role in protecting data on Nutanix to Veeam Software’s data protection for VMware and Commvault’s focus on Microsoft Windows protection. Those relationships helped Veeam and Commvault grow into successful data protection vendors.

HYCU’s devotion to Nutanix is not lost on the HCI pioneer. Venugopal Pai, Nutanix’s VP of alliances and business development, said while there are many other backup options for Nutanix, HYCU software is the only data protection developed specifically for his company.

“They bet on Nutanix early on and built a product around our platform,” Pai said. “Now they can build a company around HYCU the product.

“We thank them for doubling down on Nutanix. They understand the work we’ve done on storage management with our APIs and they built a user interface similar to ours. They started with a clean sheet of paper and truly built a product around Nutanix.”

Still, the competition is fierce for HYCU. Most major data protection vendors support Nutanix, and at least 10 already back up Nutanix’s home-grown AHV hypervisor. Those supporting AHV include Veeam and Commvault, plus backup software giant Veritas and rapidly emerging players Cohesity and Rubrik.

Taylor said he realizes HYCU must stay ahead of the competition for protecting data on Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure to succeed. “We will always be first to market with support for Nutanix features and functions,” he promised. “When Nutanix comes out with something new and exciting, HYCU will make those investments right away.”

Taylor said the features that make HYCU software stand out for Nutanix included agent-less backup, its ability to deliver VM-stun free ESX backups on Nutanix, its support of Nutanix AFS (Acropolis File Services) and its availability on Nutanix Calm.

HYCU taps into Nutanix’s built-in data protection features such as deduplication, snapshots, replication and cloning rather than build its own.

“Nutanix built dedupe and snapshot capabilities, why make the customer pay for them again?” he said.

HYCU software pricing starts at $1,500 per socket, with subscription-based per VM options available. Subscription pricing includes $75 per socket per month, and $10 per VM per month for enterprises and $5 per VM per month for service providers.

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