SaaS data backup specialists HYCU are expanding their data protection services into customers' AWS cloud infrastructure.
HYCU R-Cloud, the company's flagship data backup platform, now supports backup and granular recovery of numerous cloud infrastructure services within AWS. Customers can now recover specific infrastructure services and files individually, such as Amazon databases or key management tools. This capability enables customers to recover components or specific files without the need to employ recovery scripts or commit to full restores.
This restoration capability also expands to AWS SaaS applications built on AWS services such as Asana, Jira and Trello.
There are few products in the disaster recovery space that can back up cloud infrastructure with any kind of automation or granularity, said Jerome Wendt, CEO at Data Center Intelligence Group.
SaaS data protection lags customer adoption, with many industry analysts noting that customers assume data protection is included when purchasing a SaaS service. Understanding and protecting cloud infrastructure for accessing and using these services falls on the customer due to the common "shared responsibility" contract with a cloud service provider.
The shared responsibility model ultimately places all data protection and availability as the customer's responsibility, with only service uptime and accessibility as the vendor's responsibility.
"I doubt most recognize this gap exists in their data protection schema," Wendt said. "If they do know about it, they likely handle backups internally as they discover that no backup software offers data protection for these services."
Foundation work for AWS backups
The HYCU R-Cloud platform specifically supports storage and compute services such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute and Amazon S3 object storage. But it also now protects more complex services, including Amazon Relational Database Service, AWS Key Management Service and the Amazon CloudFormation service provisioning tool, among others.
The platform can provide item-level restoration with automated backups, according to HYCU. Customers can opt to back up all this data into Amazon S3 with additional reporting, logging and access control capabilities.
Arpio provides a similar SaaS for protecting cloud infrastructure that offers a similar set of features, but lacks the granular recovery capabilities touted by HYCU, Wendt said.
Krista MacomberAnalyst, Futurum Group
These AWS services form the backbone of enterprises' AWS cloud infrastructure, enabling the creation of in-house applications or support of a variety of other SaaS apps, said Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group.
This interconnectivity provides flexibility, but it can make restorations and addressing specific outages difficult and time-consuming -- two terms no IT staff want to deal with ahead of an outage, Macomber said. It can also make it difficult to triage where there are issues, as an issue in one area can cause issues in other areas.
"The cloud becomes more challenging because these numbers of interconnected parts further grow," she said. "It can be expensive and complex, eating up budget and administrator time that can't afford to be wasted."
This AWS infrastructure can also be a target for a ransomware payload, Wendt said, as infecting the customer's infrastructure alongside the data can further disrupt operations and push a customer into paying up.
"Ransomware has significantly elevated that risk to the point where organizations that ignore the possibility of these services being compromised may find themselves unable to recover their cloud environment as it exists today," Wendt said.
Back up, but buyer beware
HYCU spokespeople said the platform now protects 50 SaaS applications alongside the pitched protection of AWS infrastructure services.
The variety of SaaS applications now protected includes Microsoft 365, Notion, Salesforce and more.
Wendt said protecting these services and the infrastructure they run on is a powerful feature, but customers should still test recovery processes, prepare IT staff on how to recover during an emergency and understand how to recover during a complete outage.
Services that provide automated recovery for public cloud are rare, so understanding their limitations before disaster strikes is important, he said.
"Due to the relative newness of this offering and this concept in general, I strongly encourage organizations using this service to test the backup capabilities," Wendt said.
Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.