CloudCasa, a division of data backup and protection vendor Catalogic Software, plans to spin off as an independent company after a two-year incubation period.
CloudCasa executives said they're looking for external investors to make the company fully independent in the first half of 2023. The desire to go independent isn't due to internal pressures but as an opportunity for the company to continue focusing on cloud and Kubernetes backup developments that's separate from Catalogic's legacy software for on-premises hardware.
"We've always maintained a separate brand," said Sathya Sankaran, founder and general manager of CloudCasa. "We knew this was a possibility because our customer is completely different. [Catalogic customers are] not the crowd that's jumping into Kubernetes."
Numerous companies have entered the fray in data protection for Kubernetes, but which will emerge as the major players remains up in the air until there's further enterprise adoption, said Krista Macomber, a senior analyst at Evaluator Group.
"There's still not awareness in the market for why these environments need protection," she said. "As these environments grow larger in scale, expect to see more adoption of third-party tools with data protection."
CloudCasa is built off the free open source snapshot tools Velero and KubeDR, itself developed by CloudCasa and Catalogic for Kubernetes container storage interfaces. Features such as cloud backup, storage automation and restoration capabilities are sold through a SaaS subscription. The software supports a wide variety of Kubernetes services using public and private cloud, with the CloudCasa SaaS capabilities running through AWS.
Should CloudCasa spin off, Catalogic Software will retain only the DPX enterprise data protection software in its portfolio after selling its ECX data copying software to IBM in 2021.
CloudCasa has approximately 1,000 users of the open source product and intends to convert at least a quarter of these into paying customers. CloudCasa enables backups of up to 100 GB with paid plans as customers reach 1 TB or higher for storage backups, according to Sankaran.
The company is also expanding its external partnerships in preparation for the spinoff. It now offers a storage component for CloudCasa backups using Ondat, a Kubernetes SaaS vendor previously known as StorageOS.
"We've gotten to that point with zero external funding," Sankaran said. "Every dollar we've spent so far is through internal efforts."
Sankaran, who will become CEO of the spun-off company, plans to maintain the open source capabilities of CloudCasa with the additional SaaS features as attractive additions for existing customers.
Showdown at the K8 Corral
CloudCasa faces a handful of established players in the nascent Kubernetes backup market, said William Fellows, research director of cloud native channel at S&P Global Market Intelligence Group.
William FellowsResearch director, S&P Global Market Intelligence Group
Specific competitors include Veeam's Kasten and Trilio, both specialists in Kubernetes data protection, according to Fellows. Competition may also come from open source container software like Heptio's Velero, which is financially backed by VMware.
"It's the Wild West out there in terms of opportunity," he said. "CloudCasa has a nice, clean and simple story. Now the challenge is to build an ecosystem and attract funding -- it needs to stand up and have its own voice."
CloudCasa, compared with competitors, provides the ability to operate within private clouds and the public clouds favored by most container applications, a point of difference CloudCasa could capitalize on, Fellows said.
Macomber noted that it will become important for the Kubernetes backup vendors to differentiate themselves through market partnerships or specific capabilities for specialized audiences, as many buyers are starting to adopt Kubernetes into larger technology stacks outside of DevOps.
Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.