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Clumio selling cheaper AWS protection with SecureVault Lite

The new Clumio SecureVault Lite provides backup and protection of Amazon EC2 and EBS data at a lower price point, but offers fewer granular recovery features.

Clumio, a data protection and backup vendor, will soon sell a cheaper but less feature-rich version of its SecureVault technology for protecting application data in AWS.

SecureVault Lite, which becomes generally available Aug. 22, offers a managed data air-gapping and restoration service for applications that use Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2). Clumio executives said SecureVault Lite isn't intended to protect mission-critical data for day-to-day operations, but is instead targeted at back-end applications and services data that could still benefit from instant recovery.

The service will be available both through the AWS Marketplace and direct from Clumio.

Although stripping out some of SecureVault's features might sound questionable on paper, it provides organizations that use cloud applications and services from hyperscalers such as AWS with a choice of options and price points, according to Krista Macomber, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

Midmarket organizations can rely entirely on cloud applications and storage, meaning the ability to choose what features they want outweighs any perceived protection benefits from a premium product when every nickel and dime matters, she said.

"It's the same service they provide, stripped of a few capabilities," Macomber said. "This path makes sense. [Clumio is] building traction by protecting AWS cloud-native [workloads] and doing that very well. They're trying to get that foothold into those environments before the more traditional [security] players."

Same taste, less features

SecureVault Lite managed service provides automation capabilities for data protection over native AWS services such as EBS Snapshots and EBS Snapshots Archive with promised instantaneous restoration times. SecureVault Lite does provide SaaS capabilities for AWS cross-region replication and data compliance standards such as HIPAA.

It costs $0.035 per GB a month for SecureVault Lite managed protection -- less than the $0.05 per GB a month for the full-calorie SecureVault product, and around the same price of a customer personally managing both Amazon EBS Snapshots and EBS Snapshots Archive services, which cost $0.05 and $0.0125 per GB a month, respectively.

SecureVault Lite also charges $0.04 per GB for restoration, a feature included in the cost of the standard SecureVault product.

The SecureVault Lite service lacks a handful of other restoration capabilities provided by SecureVault, including file-level indexing, file system browsing and file-level restores. It also has a minimum retention period of 30 days for data, compared with the one day of SecureVault.

Clumio sells protection services for numerous AWS infrastructure services, including SQL Server, Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB and VMware Cloud. The company also provides backup services for Microsoft 365.

A la carte security gaps

SecureVault Lite's dropped features aren't minor, which limits the product compared with the premium version.

The loss of file indexing, for example, is significant, Macomber said, as the feature can make more granular recovery possible over the need to perform an entire file system restore just to locate one piece of missing data.

Even without granular recovery features, SecureVault Lite still provides immutable data capabilities and automated replication controls compared with native AWS services, according to Christophe Bertrand, practice director at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget.

"It's not a ridiculous trade-off," Bertrand said. "It's not mission-critical [data] for your business. You want to spend the right amount of money for what is going to be the right amount of protection and features for the right level of [mission] criticality."

[Clumio is] building traction by protecting AWS cloud-native [organizations] and doing that very well. They're trying to get that foothold into those environments before the more traditional [security] players.
Krista MacomberSenior analyst, Evaluator Group

Still, Clumio's approach makes more sense than the approach some on-premises data center security vendors have taken when heading to the cloud, Macomber said.

To win over existing customers, some vendors have launched cloud versions of existing products that lack features the on-premises editions have, she said. Selling a pared-down version of an existing cloud-native product not only copies the hyperscaler approach, but gives customers space to grow or shrink accordingly.

Ultimately, the amount of protection and speed of recovery necessary requires an organization's IT buyers to have a solid understanding of their use cases and acceptable level of losses.

"It's dependent on the business and the particular set of applications," Macomber said. "What are [an organization's] business governance requirements and can they meet those with the existing [products]? That's where the conversation should start."

The actual challenge facing Clumio could come from differentiating its product in an increasingly crowded market, Macomber said. Companies such as N2WS are targeting AWS workloads exclusively like Clumio, while companies such as Cohesity and Rubrik deliver all-encompassing protection services.

"We have these diverse sets of vendors that are [all] addressing AWS backups," she said.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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