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VMblog Expert Interview: Shubhankar Chatterjee Talks Clumio and Enterprise Backup Delivered as a Secure Service

During VMworld 2019, VMblog was introduced to a new enterprise backup solution from a company called Clumio.  The company made quite a splash for itself at VMworld by winning a "Best of VMworld" award.  I was able to learn more about the company and its technology after catching up with Shubhankar Chatterjee, the Director of Product Management at Clumio.  Shubhankar has 19 years of experience in product management and engineering and most recently served as the Principal Product Manager at Nutanix and as a Consultant Product Manager at Dell EMC prior to that.

VMblog:  Let's kick things off for VMblog readers by asking, who is Clumio?

Shubhankar Chatterjee:  Clumio is a secure, backup as a service for the enterprise that replaces the complexity of software and hardware management with an authentic approach to SaaS. Clumio was founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Poojan Kumar, co-founder and former CEO of PernixData (acquired by Nutanix [Nasdaq: NTNX]), along with Woon Ho Jung and Kaustubh Patil who bring strong engineering and leadership backgrounds from VMware and Nutanix.  Venture investors include Mike Speiser, Sutter Hill Ventures and Mike Volpi, Index Ventures.  Several individual investors experienced at investing in disruptive technologies also participated including, Mark Leslie, founder of Veritas Technologies, and John Thompson, chairman of the board at Microsoft. 

VMblog:  And how does Clumio help its Customers?

Chatterjee:  Clumio provides critically important secure data protection without all the typical complexity, resource needs, and specialized skills required to design and maintain an enterprise backup solution. The service frees up IT to work on more strategic initiatives without sacrificing data protection. 

VMblog:  Describe if you would the product in a bit more detail.

Chatterjee:  Clumio's flagship product, a secure backup as a service for the enterprise, became generally available on April 30th, 2019. It delivers the following capabilities to ensure that protecting enterprise data is easy and that users are confident their data is protected and secure. 

  • Easy to Manage.  Setup and start protecting your data in less than 15 minutes. Instead of designing and buying infrastructure, just focus on identifying the appropriate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for different applications and then create and assign policies to match those SLAs.
  • Predictable Costs. Pay for the service based simply on the number of VMs. Skip the complicated cost projections of on-prem hardware and software, and avoid surprise cloud charges by eliminating the need to run 3rd party backup applications in the cloud. 
  • Scale On-Demand. Clumio scales resources automatically to meet changing enterprise requirements.
  • Global Compliance. Create one policy to manage the backup of VMs within the data center or across remote sites. Get a global view of the compliance status of the backups for all the VMs within the enterprise.
  • Always-On Security. All backups are encrypted in-transit and at rest. 

VMblog:  This market can get confusing for people with so many like terms out there.  Can you explain how Clumio is different?

Chatterjee:  Clumio is Enterprise Backup delivered as a secure service. Customers do not have to worry about  designing the backup deployment, patching of backup servers, capacity planning of backup storage, or buying hardware and software.  Clumio replaces all the complexity of today’s enterprise backup with Authentic SaaS.

Authentic SaaS means that customer workloads are securely and reliably protected.  Capacity expands automatically to meet customer needs. Costs are predictable because they’re based on the number of instances protected. There’s no complex licensing with no capacity forecasting required.

Encryption is implemented end to end and is always turned on.  Support comes as a part of the subscription, and there are automatic service updates. The service is designed to auto-diagnose failures, and in cases that require customer attention (e.g. vCenter down or Network unavailable) an alert is generated for the customer to take appropriate action. Clumio protects VMware workloads with a single set of policies no matter where the workloads are running - within a data center, in remote locations, or even on VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS.

VMblog:  What support does Clumio offer?

Chatterjee:  Clumio offers standard and premium support tiers.  Standard support (Business hours) is included with the Clumio subscription.  Premium support that offers 24X7X365 support coverage is available for an additional fee. 

VMblog:  What is the current state of backup? 

Chatterjee:  Most Enterprises that we have spoken to, have applications running in Datacenters, Remote/Branch offices, IaaS or PaaS in Public Cloud and SaaS. IT teams need to deal with this highly distributed environment and manage independent backup deployments for each of these environments. They have to manually debug and triage backup and restore issues in each of these backup deployments. Further, there isn’t a way for the IT team to centrally enforce backup policies, nor for them to globally monitor the compliance with these policies.  As a consequence, IT teams spend valuable time and resources in just keeping the lights-on for such environments.  Clumio’s vision is to help enterprises manage backups with a simple, secure service that helps customers protect their applications regardless of their deployment model - on-premises, hybrid, IaaS/PaaS in public cloud or SaaS. 

VMblog:  How does Clumio work? 

Chatterjee:  Customers sign up for the Clumio service, just as they would for any SaaS offering. Then, they create backup policies to match their business needs and assign these policies to their applications. From there, the Clumio service takes over to schedule backups appropriately. This auto-scheduling of backups provides a great benefit for environments with 1000’s of applications being backed up daily. The Clumio service is built on AWS and leverages the scale and elasticity of the public cloud to adapt automatically to meet the changing needs of the enterprise. The customer’s backup data is stored on Clumio-managed S3 storage which is virtually unlimited and frees up the customer from having to think about capacity planning.  Security is incorporated at the core of the Clumio service and data is always encrypted before being moved out of the customer’s environment. This provides a secure backup and recovery service for the enterprise.

VMblog:  How does this product provide a return on investment and make IT professionals' jobs easier?

Chatterjee:  Clumio delivers business and operational value. Clumio delivers business value by offering straightforward pricing based upon the number of VMs you’re protecting. Projecting costs is as easy as planning VMs.   There are no cloud bills or egress charges to worry about. Clumio also provides business value by enabling data protection with end to end encryption and a singular view of global compliance.  Clumio employs FIPS Compliant AES-256 bit encryption for data in-transit and at-rest..  The backup data is stored  in data centers that meet ISO-27001, SOC-1, SOC-2, and SOC-3 compliance requirements.
 
The Clumio service also delivers operational value. Clumio takes care of critical data backup and recovery tasks. There is no need to estimate the cost of design, upgrades, and maintenance.  Clumio has already done this. Clumio reduces the time and effort spent planning for software licensing and updates, hardware capacity projections, depreciation calculations, implementation planning, execution, and troubleshooting. Clumio offers IT departments freedom from all this manual work, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives. Backup no longer has to be an inhibitor to cloud initiatives. And since Clumio is delivered in a SaaS model including support, customers benefit from the proactive resolution of problems instead of having to triage, root cause, and fix problems themselves.

VMblog:  Finally, what are the key reasons Clumio won TechTarget's Best of VMworld this year?

Chatterjee:  We were thrilled and honored to win the "Best of VMworld 2019" and named Gold Winner in the Data Protection Category. Two of the key differentiators that the judges called out for Clumio were our pricing model and our approach to security. First, Clumio offers an authentic and predictable SaaS model where you only pay per number of VMs you’re protecting. You don’t have to estimate the cost of design, upgrades, and maintenance, because we’ve already done that for you.  There are no cloud bills or egress charges to worry about.  Secondly, the Clumio service has been built from the ground-up to preserve the security and integrity of the customer’s data. Backup data is always transported and stored in an encrypted format. We also operate under an Information Security Management System to prevent any unauthorized access to customer data. In addition, we have engaged a 3rd party to perform network and application level penetration testing on our service to catch any potential security vulnerabilities.

Our customers value the simplicity and security of Clumio, especially since they can protect data on-prem and in the cloud with the same service.

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Published Friday, September 06, 2019 8:02 AM by David Marshall
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