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SaaS data protection specialist HYCU Inc. is adding a new generative AI capability to its R-Cloud platform.
The new capability, part of the HYCU Generative AI Initiative, enables users to create data protection and backup code for any SaaS application with an available API through the R-Cloud console. HYCU's GenAI capability is built on Anthropic's Claude large language model.
The new functionality uses AI to generate the code for SaaS data protection, which could eliminate some backup complexities, said Mike Matchett, analyst and founder of Small World Big Data. But using AI for such procedures would still likely require human intervention to ensure security and performance.
"There's definitely a way to deskill the expertise needed for complex tasks," Matchett said. "There's still a question of [human] judgement to make sure the AI has come up with the right answer."
DR made with GenAI
The HYCU Generative AI Initiative is currently available only to select partners, according to Subbiah Sundaram, senior vice president of products at HYCU.
HYCU's R-Cloud protects 64 different SaaS applications and data sources, but the growing number of these services prompted the company to consider more automated capabilities, Sundaram said. Target customers for the new GenAI feature will include MSPs or value-added resellers with a rollout to end-users in the future.
HYCU's GenAI feature is trained on only HYCU data and doesn't connect to the larger Anthropic AI service. All data is then backed up according to R-Cloud platform settings. The company also lets customers save their generated code to a GitHub repository to test and edit using low-code capabilities in R-Cloud.
The lack of backup services available to SaaS customers is an ongoing problem, said Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst at Data Center Intelligence Group. SaaS providers can fail to even provide APIs to let customers back up data on their own, so backup vendors might not prioritize coding for less popular SaaS apps.
"Once companies accept the reality they need to backup SaaS apps, here's an AI tool to quickly write the code," Wendt said. "One of the challenges HYCU is having is they can't even write the code because the APIs don't exist."
Future expansion for HYCU R-Cloud platform and its GenAI automation will include cloud services such AWS EC2 instances or database-as-a-service apps, Sundaram said. R-Cloud will also expand in capabilities, as part of the initiative, to protect AI platform configuration data with protection available for Pinecone and Redis vector databases.
Expanding SaaS coverage
SaaS vendors, like other cloud service providers, do not automatically or comprehensively back up user data. Instead, these services guarantee only the availability of the service itself and require the user to manually protect their data.
Many SaaS apps are not protected by major data protection vendors, according to Christophe Bertrand, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group. Some applications attract a large enough user base for vendors to incorporate protection, such as Microsoft 365 or Salesforce. But in many cases, SaaS customers are left to fend for themselves, he said.
Mike MatchettAnalyst and founder, Small World Big Data
"[HYCU is] the only vendor that has really taken on the SaaS data protection problem at scale," Bertrand said. "Everyone's going to be able to back up Microsoft 365. But [what about] all the other [SaaS apps]?"
HYCU is at least warning about the lack of protection, Bertrand said. Other data protection vendors, such as Commvault and Veritas, are working toward similar GenAI automation tools for data protection and backup but are not actively marketing them.
While some backup vendors are taking a slower approach in the rollout of GenAI functionality, generated protection will eventually become the norm to keep up with SaaS demand.
"I think a lot of vendors may have underplayed their hand," Bertrand said. "In the end, it's like cloud. It's early stages, but it's something you're going to integrate into solutions."
Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.