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VMblog Expert Interview: Sathya Sankaran of Catalogic Software Provides Update on CloudCasa with its Disruptive Pricing Model for Kubernetes and Cloud Database Backup-as-a-Service


Almost one year after the launch of CloudCasa as a free Kubernetes backup service at KubeCon 2020, VMblog spoke with Sathya Sankaran, Catalogic Software's Chief Operating Officer about the launch of the paid service for CloudCasa in advance of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021.

VMblog:  Can we quickly recap what CloudCasa is?

Sathya Sankaran:  CloudCasa is the first Backup as a Service (BUaaS) platform built for application developers to back up container applications and cloud database assets. In 2020, we launched it as a free snapshot management and Kubernetes resource backup service that is still available free to developers and DevOps teams.

CloudCasa is a powerful and easy to use backup and disaster recovery service for cloud native applications. CloudCasa supports all leading Kubernetes distributions and managed services and is available in cloud marketplaces and application catalogs including Amazon, Red Hat, SUSE Rancher and DigitalOcean.

VMblog:  What's different about CloudCasa from other Kubernetes backup offerings?

Sankaran:  With CloudCasa, there is no need to build data protection infrastructure or maintain software installations with fast evolving application updates. CloudCasa hides all that complexity from users, including the need to provision and manage backup storage, as summarized in Why CloudCasa.

CloudCasa also provides the freedom to choose different cloud providers and cloud storage, a differentiator from others in its category. CloudCasa was built to create air gapped solutions that allow the protection of backup copies in different access domains or cloud providers. That is not necessarily what other cloud providers will give you today because they have no incentive to allow users to back up a copy or move data to a different provider. CloudCasa treats all cloud providers the same, and allows data mobility between different cloud providers, which is very important in the world of data insurance.

Security is built in at to CloudCasa, provides an air-gap for backup data to protect it from a hacker or a ransomware attack and supports snapshotting cloud databases, starting with Amazon RDS, to ensure application consistent backups of data outside of Kubernetes. Cloud databases account for a large portion of persistent data for applications running on Kubernetes.

CloudCasa also allows users to define and report on backup schedules and retention policies - applied across infrastructure whether it is a cloud database or persistent volumes residing inside of Kubernetes and provides a central view of the protection of the application data, regardless of what provider, account, or region it is located in.

VMblog:  What's new in this latest version of CloudCasa?

Sankaran:  The big news is the launch of paid service plans for CloudCasa, with a disruptive, capacity-based pricing model, along with major new features in this latest version. CloudCasa now provides Kubernetes Persistent Volumes (PVs) backups with:

  • Fair, capacity-based pricing for persistent volume backups - Users pay only for the data being protected vs. what infrastructure is in use.
  • Free service tier - forever - Unlimited PV and Amazon RDS snapshots with up to 30 days' retention, with no limits on worker nodes or clusters, and Kubernetes resource data included.
  • Free Amazon RDS snapshot management - Multi-region copies with no limits on databases or accounts.
  • Software and storage included - as a SaaS application, there are no software costs, no storage to purchase, no infrastructure to provision.
  • Application hooks to provide application-consistent backup and restore.
  • APIs with API keys to securely automate backup scheduling and the CI/CD automation process
  • Security and compliance - SafeLockTM protection provides tamper proof backups that are locked from deletion by any user action or API call.
  • Premium support as part of paid subscriptions. We also provide chat with support in the CloudCasa service UI that is providing to be very popular.

CloudCasa Differentiation 

We continue to provide major features releases at least quarterly, and we welcome feedback and new feature ideas.

VMblog:  You have a unique capacity-based pricing model.  And why a free service tier?

Sankaran:  The free service tier has been a real success story as an incentive to sign up for CloudCasa. No strings attached, no credit card required, and it will remain free forever. Our goal is to provide a valuable service to developers and DevOps teams, that will lead them and IT operations teams to use the paid service tier for stateful applications with persistent data, and for compliance and reporting.

Consistent with the value the free service tier offers, the goal of our paid service is to provide a fair and intuitive capacity-based subscription pricing that is based on how much data is being protected. We examined what competitors are offering and they charge based on internal scaling constructs such as worker nodes or clusters in addition to requiring users to bring their own backup storage.

The unfairness aspect is because early adopters of Kubernetes are being charged based on the scalability of their application rather than on the amount of stateful or persistent data that they are protecting. This can lead to doing unnatural things such as storing data outside of Kubernetes and not backing up the clusters or concentrating all stateful data operations in a few clusters with minimal worker nodes. This defeats many advantages of Kubernetes including auto-scaling, load balancing, and being application centric.

VMblog:  What does the roadmap look like for CloudCasa for the next year?

Sankaran:  More features, more marketplaces, and more industry leading value! As data protection experts at Catalogic, we will continue to provide additional data protection features and make CloudCasa available in all the leading marketplaces and catalogs. Our goal is for CloudCasa to provide a best-in-class solution in terms of ease of use and its support for public cloud Kubernetes services, their object storage, managed databases, and cloud native workloads. And to offer more choices including cross-cloud recovery and bring-your-own storage. We also want CloudCasa to be the most secure service available, so we will continue to deliver new security features including bring-your-own keys, ransomware detection, and security posture reviews.

VMblog:  Finally, any chance you are headed to KubeCon 2021?

Sankaran:  Yes, we are looking forward to exhibiting at KubeCon + CloudNative Con North America 2021, conference in October. We've chosen to release this news ahead of that show partly in an effort to inform those in attendance of our latest features and to encourage them to engage in conversation about CloudCasa. Catalogic is a silver sponsor of the event and we will have both a virtual presence and an on the floor presence at the Los Angeles Convention Center in booth number S69.


Published Tuesday, October 05, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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