Organizations struggling to deploy production applications built on Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS) are familiar with compliance and cost constraints. Those that attempt it today end up trying to stitch together several third-party solutions with tools they build themselves.
With its latest announcement, software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise backup vendor Clumio is trying to close the gap. Clumio on June 2 announced a data protection service for long-term retention of AWS native services that consolidates operational recovery, backup and compliance requirements.
Built natively on the public cloud, the platform has as a core capability consolidation, allowing enterprises to use the same service and backup policies across multiple workloads in an all-cloud world, said Clumio CEO Poojan Kumar.
In the data center, operational recovery, backup and compliance are taken care of across three disparate toolsets: array snapshots, legacy backup software and off-site tape, respectively. When an organization moves to cloud, the default data protection choice is snapshots for all three use cases, he explained. "The biggest problem with that approach is cost because it gets exponentially higher when you retain snapshots beyond 35 days in order to meet requirements for general data recovery and long-term retention," Kumar said.
Using a subscription model, Clumio consolidates all three use cases on a single service. This results in more effective point-in-time recovery, in-account snapshots and snapshot orchestration for Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) and Amazon's integrated database service RDS workloads, granular record retrieval, air-gapped snapshot and long-term retention to help satisfy compliance requirements.
According to Kumar, two of the most important features are air-gapped data protection and granular record retrieval. Clumio stores data outside of production accounts, continuously checks data integrity, stores backups in immutable format and prevents backups from being deleted before expiration. This helps enterprises recover in the event of compromised accounts, ransomware and data loss.
Reducing Time to Restore Data in the Cloud
The solution also reduces the amount of time it takes to restore data in the cloud. "Data is stored in a searchable format, enabling record/row-level search queries and the ability to extract specific data with queries versus restoring from full snapshots," Kumar said. That allows enterprises to restore databases more quickly and migrate data across database engines and versions throughout the full life cycle of the data.
This service is essentially the first comprehensive backup and recovery solution for RDS, said Steve McDowell, senior analyst for storage and data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy. Amazon’s RDS snapshot policy, with its time-limited constraints and lack of integration with external storage services, provides only a minimal set of mechanisms for compliance. Existing backup and recovery solutions that wrap and manage RDS snapshots face the same limitations, he said.
"RDS provides a really nice set of database capabilities to Amazon’s cloud customers, but the data protection mechanisms provided are a fairly basic set of snapshot services," McDowell said. "Managing your data protection strategy around a set of snapshots, with constraints about how you can use those snapshots, how long you can store them and even where you can store them, can be a difficult problem to solve."
Beyond retention for compliance, one of the best capabilities of the new solution is data mobility, he added. Clumio allows IT professionals to move data from an RDS snapshot to a database that might exist in another Amazon region, or even another Amazon account, to keep a rolling backup of the RDS instance that requires protection. This allows an enterprise to build complex data protection and disaster recovery scenarios that are not possible using the built-in Amazon RDS services, McDowell said.
The solution can also reduce the costs associated with backup and recovery for AWS environments. Clumio does this by pulling data out of RDS’ built-in snapshot capabilities, allowing it to cost-effectively manage only the data being protected and to do so without the increased costs that Amazon charges for snapshot services outside of its default set of options.
Clumio is charging a predictable rate based on the number of terabytes under protection. It also integrates directly into the Amazon S3 archival services to allow for cost-effective long-term and archival storage.
Essentially, Clumio is allowing for a predictable cost model without hidden snapshot charges that can emerge with computing solutions that act as snapshot managers for the built-in RDS services, McDowell said.
"There is nothing that a CIO hates more than unconstrained and unpredictable costs," McDowell said. "I like how Clumio is addressing this for the RDS market with the new offering. It’s a win over what its closest competitors are offering in the space."