Sandeep Soni, GM & VP of Engineering, India Operations, Clumio outlines the benefits and successes of the SaaS based data protection services
What are the solutions and services in the Clumio portfolio?
Clumio is a secure, backup as a service for the enterprises that eliminate the complexity of infrastructure management with an authentic solution. Our mission is to tap the scale, elasticity and economics of the public cloud to disrupt and redefine our market. The company’s enterprise backup as a service is built on native AWS services, meaning customers can take full advantage of the flexibility, scalability and economics AWS provides. Clumio’s enterprise backup-as-a-service consolidates the operational recovery, backup and compliance requirements – all within a predictable cost model. Clumio includes snapshot orchestration for free, air-gap snapshot protection and long-term retention, translating to secure and compliant data protection at a substantially lower cost.
Recently, Clumio announced data protection for the Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) workloads, eliminating cost, risk and compliance-related barriers to cloud adoption – specifically, the migration of mission-critical apps to the cloud. Clumio’s service, the first data protection service for long-term retention of AWS native services, also orchestrates operational recovery snapshots for free. The company continues to advance SaaS backup for the all cloud enterprise, delivering a seamless public cloud backup solution and enabling companies to get to the cloud faster. The announcement for AWS comes after Clumio’s recent addition of Microsoft 365 to its enterprise backup as a service – the first enterprise data protection service in the market to protect private cloud, public cloud and SaaS on a single platform. Clumio’s AWS and Microsoft 365 data protection “firsts” empower enterprises to map to an “all cloud” model efficiently and effectively, expediting innovation in the process.
What are the changing patterns in workloads that you have witnessed with a largely WFH environment in the current situation?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to business operations and has forced enterprises to work from home. Now, it has been understood that COVID-19 will forever change the working patterns as businesses are pressured by the pandemic to accept remote work. The data disruption brought by COVID has moved the enterprises to swiftly bridge their digital transformation gaps. An accelerated move to the cloud has become a necessity for many organizations as employees continue to work from home.
In the last few months, we have seen organisations make a push to leverage the power of the cloud to modernise their infrastructure and business applications. Cloud has become a key component for collaboration and integration since we moved to a complete remote environment. There is an increase in data being stored in the cloud now more than ever, and this dependency on cloud has streamlined the efforts and made sure that data is available anytime to all the team members through apps like SharePoint and Google Docs. Since employees are working on personal laptops and from remote locations where they don’t have access to office networks, that has also created an increase in cloud ecosystem to collaborate, innovate and to be synced with each other. Organizations can enable themselves and prepare for the new post-COVID reality and be future-ready by leveraging the power of cloud solutions and deploying a cloud-based infrastructure that can enable clients to benefit from a number of readily available solutions.
What is the vertical wise traction for your offerings now?
Clumio’s enterprise backup as a service delivers both compliance and value for a wide variety of industries. Built on native AWS services, businesses and organizations can take full advantage of the flexibility, scalability and economics cloud to protect critical data for customers including leading organizations in healthcare, education, manufacturing, government and technology.
What were the challenges in migrating to cloud from on-prem in the current situation?
The journey to the cloud at first glance might seem easy. You just move applications that once existed on-premises to the public cloud as they exist. This removes the need to manage infrastructure and gives you the ability to focus on more strategic aspects of the business. But in reality, the journey to the cloud is not as simple as just moving applications to the public cloud. Some of the challenges in migrating to cloud from on-prem include:
- Planning a cloud migration strategy: In the current situation, enterprises realized quickly that in order to optimize for the cloud, applications needed to be optimized to get leverage. Enterprises can opt for cloud to avoid building and maintaining on-premise infrastructure. Cloud also helps businesses to improve flexibility, agility, performance, and security. While preparing a cloud migration strategy, enterprises have to align it with precise business objectives to take advantage of cloud-based services fully.
- Reskilling people and upgrading processes: No enterprise can leverage the cloud without overcoming constraints related to deeply skilled resources. Organizations must reskill and upskill existing employees to enable them to access data stored in and apps running in the cloud. The best long-term plan is to cultivate cloud skills internally, a strategy that provides several advantages. At the same time, they also need to upgrade existing processes as part of cloud adoption and migration.
- Infrastructure Complexity: Managing data protection across clouds is complex resulting in inconsistency of protection. When an enterprise opts for cloud, it needs to redesign its existing infrastructure. The redesigning of on-premise infrastructure requires additional time and resources. An enterprise has to complete architecture redesigning before migrating its applications and data to the cloud.
- Financial/Hidden costs: While the cloud is often cost-effective in the long term, cloud migration might be expensive upfront depending on how much data you plan to move. The financial cost shouldn’t just factor in the cost of using the cloud solutions, however one also needs to consider the cost of training employees on the new technology and the cost of rewriting or replacing data to be compatible with the cloud architecture.
- Security: Security is the number one barrier that prevents businesses from adopting the cloud. Data is being dispersed across clouds which opens security concerns. You should know where your data will be stored, how the provider encrypts your incoming and outgoing data, and what regulations the provider is compliant with.
What is the GTM strategy followed by Clumio and what are the initiatives undertaken?
At Clumio we believe that we have two key ingredients that will make us successful in the long run. One – A world class product. Two – A 100 percent channel model. This will enable partners to offer customers and prospects a differentiated solution that provides unique value to their business and the ability for partners to realize healthy margins.
Benefits of Clumio’s World Class Product:
- Simplicity:Clumio’s authentic SaaS cloud service is a one-stop shop for multi-cloud protection including VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS, and Microsoft 365 today with many more data sources to come.
- 100 percent Consumption Model: Pay only for front-end data or instances protected, acquired as granularly as monthly increments.
- Global Policy Management: Clumio allows simplified compliance across various clouds and data sources.
- ZERO Hidden Cloud Costs:What you see is what you get from Clumio for all related backup infrastructure, data protection, ingress and egress, etc.
- Security-First Approach: ISO 270001, HIPAA, SOC 2 Type 2, GDPR, end to end encryption, and supports Bring Your Own Key/Customer Managed Keys pairing.
- Proven 25-30 percent TCO Savings: When comparing “apples to apples” against native cloud backup solutions and traditional purpose-built backup appliance vendors.
- Backup is our First Act!:We are an authentic SaaS offering built on a scalable, secure platform in the public cloud. Data protected by Clumio can and will be leveraged by our customers for supplemental value as we build out more data services.
Benefits for Clumio’s 100% Channel Model:
- 100 percent Through our Valued Partners:Clumio is acutely aware that in order to scale we need to double down with our partners and invest wisely to ensure our partnership grows as our product innovation continues.
- Realize More Cloud Revenue:Clumio provides partners with an opportunity to truly help customers while also repatriating revenue and margin from cloud spend to “sold SaaS” spend.
- Annuity Business:We are creating an annuity business for our partners. As we add more data sources, partners will be able to offer their existing Clumio customer base even more.
- Future-Proofed: Clumio partners will have a front row seat to conversations about where we are going and how that will benefit customers and prospects.
As businesses move more of their data to the cloud, partners are trying to pivot in that direction. At Clumio, we believe that not only do we have a compelling technology to offer customers but a channel program that allows partners to help their customers achieve that pivot effortlessly!
Who are your marquee customers and what are their use cases?
We serve several marquee clients in the US and Canada. Our customers are spread across sectors like education, healthcare, financial services etc. Some of our recent customers include Infogix (data governance and management), Rush Memorial Hospital, Cole Scott & Kissane (law), Lakeside Process Controls, InTown Suites (hospitality), Frogslayer (cloud IT consultancy), and Point Loma Nazarene University.
Below are two customers and their use cases:
Infogix: Infogix is a global data governance and management software company that integrates advanced automation into data governance, data analytics, and intelligent data quality to provide customers with business-ready data. For many years, Infogix had performed data backups for Data360 using an on-premises solution. Increasingly, this aging solution caused challenges for the company. They had to select and implement software and hardware for each VMware vSphere workload and plan storage capacity carefully. This was a drain on their IT resources and became too cumbersome. In addition, the organization’s backup costs were too high. They realized these costs were only going to grow as they continued focusing on their cloud strategy. Infogix addressed its challenges by turning to Clumio. Using Clumio, Infogix took advantage of a central management console, accessed through a URL, to back up and recover vSphere workloads on AWS. Infogix used Clumio to back up close to a petabyte of Data360 data onto AWS and protect it. Clumio managed Infogix’s data across multiple AWS accounts, with the same set of core policies in place. Our solution is designed to reduce the burden of backups and lower overall costs, while providing simplicity and scalability.
Rush Memorial Hospital (RMH): Jim Boyer, Chief Information Officer, Rush Memorial Hospital wanted a backup as a service that satisfied the following requirements: Reduce the time and effort his team spent on managing backup, Free up his people to focus on IT efforts that added value to the patient experience, Minimize capital expenses and having to predict storage costs, Ensure data was retained long enough to meet business and regulatory demands, Better secure his data from ransomware and other dangers. This means moving aggressively to the cloud where it makes sense. The most immediate business benefit RMH reaped from Clumio was to lower the time their team spent on everyday tasks and increase the time spent on impacting initiatives that support the mission of the hospital. Clumio’s innovative support model provided them with continuous, proactive monitoring and automated detection. Clumio’s ability to lower costs over time is not limited to where people spend their time, it has also helped RHM with long term budget planning.
How does Clumio deploy backup as a service in enterprises?
Determined to take full advantage of the public cloud without taking short cuts, we built a platform that focuses on bringing authentic SaaS to solve the challenges of data protection. Clumio continues to redefine SaaS backup for the all cloud enterprise, delivering a globally consolidated data protection service in, for and to the cloud. The Clumio platform provides a unified backup solution that protects public cloud, private cloud and SaaS with a single service, empowering companies to get to the cloud faster. The company enables enterprises to map to an all cloud vision, helping them manage and protect their dispersed data – wherever that data resides. As a result, companies can then reap the full scalability, flexibility and elasticity benefits of the cloud – without additional hardware or software for data management and protection.
The service consolidates the protection of data centres with no hardware or software to size, configure, manage – or even buy at all. On their journey to the cloud, they can use the same service to protect workloads like VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS services such as EBS and RDS. As organizations generate volumes of business data across the cloud, they must efficiently protect it as it scales. Clumio’s cloud data platform architecture was designed with this in mind, bringing the cloud values of scalability, integrated support, economics, and faster access to innovation.
How are enterprises looking at data protection in a SaaS environment?
Data protection and privacy have become buzzwords due to the increase in cyber-attacks. The data protection landscape in India has seen drastic changes over the past few years. Data explosion in recent times has complicated data management for organisations in India. Just as Indian companies had begun recognizing cloud adoption as a crucial catalyst for business transformation, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a key enabler for ensuring business continuity. The ability of the cloud to transform backup data into an asset, making it more open and accessible can help organisations gain critical insights to uncover opportunities and expedite decision making in these challenging times. As employees connect remotely to work from home, cloud adoption could be ineffective without data protection. Cloud data protection systems are a must as they can ease increasing data complexity, provide a central access point, bring greater data visibility, lessen legal and regulatory risk, and save costs. Data protection strategies evolve along two lines: data management and data availability. The former ensures that data is safeguarded at all times, while data availability ensures that users can access data whenever they want.
Some key reasons why data protection is vital now than ever are as follows:
- Simplifying data backup and recovery is one of the steps to ease and quicken the process of data management and accessibility, especially when the entire organization is connecting remotely
- To function effectively in a highly competitive environment, enterprises are not just identifying the consumer trends, but also data trends from within the organization
- Manual monitoring of company’s data systems can prove to be inefficient, tiresome, and expensive. With cloud data protection system in place, enterprises are immediately alerted in case of any unusual activity
- In times when revenues and profitability have taken a serious hit, enterprises are looking at cost-effective options to ensure smooth operations. IT budget is also under scrutiny. However, with cloud-based data protection, they do not have to buy and maintain backup and other data system hardware and software. It eliminates the need to physically store backup media off-site and deliver it to or from that site daily. IT teams are not required to manage multiple data systems hardware and media. In case of a server or website crash, there is quick recovery, which means less business interruption and less revenue lost. Increased data visibility empowers organizations to make better managerial decisions
What sort of backup and recovery model would you suggest for enterprises?
When planning for data protection, most of the focus is on scenarios involving site outages and in extreme cases, regional disasters. Very few would have anticipated an event that reached every corner of the globe as it has in this pandemic. COVID-19 is already proving to be a theme that has one of the largest concentrations of cyber-attacks that we have ever seen. City and state governments, along with private, public and higher-ed school systems, are the most frequently targeted and most vulnerable. With work from home and remote learning being common scenarios now, the attack surface for these organizations has been greatly increased.
Leveraging the public cloud and the many available enterprise SaaS applications is a way that any organization facing challenges in these areas can quickly plan for these new realities. In the case of data protection, choosing the right solution can give users instant access to data protection capabilities to ensure SLAs can be achieved even when capacity runs low on existing systems. It also gives those most vulnerable to ransomware attacks a rapidly deployable, “air-gapped” solution that ensures that they have a good copy of their data in the event of a ransomware attack.
What are the dynamics of Clumio becoming an AWS Outposts Ready partner?
Clumio is committed to removing cloud barriers so that enterprises can achieve their cloud-related technology goals and our partnership with Amazon continues to deepen that. Achieving the AWS Outposts Ready designation differentiates Clumio as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member with a product fully tested on AWS Outposts. This latest AWS Service Ready designation validates our ongoing efforts to remove cloud barriers and help customers harness the power of the public cloud. It recognizes that Clumio’s enterprise backup as a service has demonstrated successful integration with AWS Outposts deployments. AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacentre, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS Outposts Ready products are generally available and supported for AWS customers, with clear deployment documentation for AWS Outposts. As an APN member, we have also achieved AWS Storage Competency status for enterprise backup solutions, validating our deep domain expertise in core storage categories including backup and recovery.
What are Clumio’s unique differentiators over other cloud providers?
We are the only Enterprise Backup as a Service that protects private cloud, public cloud, and SaaS with the same single, secure platform. Clumio’s architecture gives customers a way to recover from ransomware or data loss by defining an air gap where data is safely stored outside of production, under separate credentials, fully encrypted, and in an immutable format. We provide lower cost, robust data protection that is easier to manage and requires no hardware or physical data center access. We’ve also increased parallelism, decreased overall aggregate costs, enabled user experiences that were much more scalable without having to do any thinking whatsoever which is especially helpful as data gets more dispersed across SaaS and even PaaS solutions.
Our rapid recovery capability delivers cloud recovery performance that’s faster than traditional hardware appliances and legacy tools – because only changed blocks are restored with our reverse change block tracking feature. In today’s challenging environment, Clumio helps customers take care of data protection, gives companies a way to recover from ransomware, and does it all with unprecedented simplicity, with no requirement for physical data center access.
Clumio provides SaaS Data Protection for an ‘All Cloud World’ that is:
- Easy to Manage: Easy to manage with no on-premises or cloud infrastructure to manage. A single UI and Service to protect data across all your endpoints with less than 15 minutes to setup
- Predictable Costs: Clumio delivers predictable costs with per VM or per TB proving models. There is no limits on restores and no egress changes
- Scale on Demand: You can scale on demand to any size environment with no sizing required. Clumio is highly intelligent with bandwidth utilization with dedupe, compression and encryption of the data on the way out to the cloud, and only the data blocks required to restore the data back on-premises
- Always-On Security & Compliance: We at Clumio have a security first mindset. We provide ransomware and data loss protection both on-premises and in the public cloud. Our policy manager allows for consistency of data protection across all datasets and the ability to apply a single policy across all datasets. All Data Is Encrypted In-flight And At Rest
What are Clumio’s key focus areas for the next 12-18 months?
Clumio continues to redefine data protection for an all-cloud world, we are creating a strong base in India already by having 50 employees and planning to expand to more than 70 by the end of 2020. In the coming year, our key focus in India will remain to grow our Research and Development Center and invest more in our employees and their innovation. From a global perspective, we are looking at expanding our markets and customer base by reaching out to more customers, improving our solutions to be ready to face the post COVID world and leverage the full potential of cloud as the industry has already moved to cloud. We will measure our success on our ability to help customers achieve their goals and protect their data.