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Komprise COO talks 2021 growth and future software plans

Krishna Subramanian, COO of Komprise, discusses improvements made to the company's flagship data management software and updates planned for the remainder of the year.

Once an organization gets its data into the cloud, costs can quickly add up. Even worse, efficient use of the cloud may result in data getting siloed across multiple public and private cloud providers, each with their own prices and performance tiers.

Komprise says its data management software can help break down data silos and manage unstructured object data into more palatable data lakes, as well as reduce the costs of moving data in and out of the cloud.

Komprise's flagship software allows organizations to view and move their data into the cloud with user-defined policies, enabling appropriate tiering and costs for colder data. It includes analytical tools to help guide future storage policies. Data migrated using Komprise remains accessible at its original source, meaning end users will not see an impact in performance as the software shifts the data across cloud tiers.

Komprise, which sells its software as a service, competes against numerous other unstructured data management specialists including Hammerspace, Starfish Storage and StrongBox. Komprise boasts of having no vendor lock-in for tiering data, as well as partnerships with the major public clouds and storage vendors.

Krishna Subramanian, president and COO, KompriseKrishna Subramanian

In this Q&A, Krishna Subramanian, president and COO of Komprise, discusses development plans for the company into 2021 as well as the needs its customers have requested addressed.

The past year has put a new focus on managing data in the cloud. How has this affected your customers?

Krishna Subramanian: In general, we saw tremendous growth in our customers at this time because they realized they're not always going to the data center to see things. They need the visibility from someone like us, and they started moving more into the cloud.

Data growth is just exploding, and customers are overwhelmed. They have so many choices where to put their data, and it's growing. Our goal is to make our customers' lives simpler and to help them realize the value of [their] data. Because we keep the data in its native format, using us to move data to the cloud makes sense.

Based on customer feedback, what are some features you've added?

Subramanian: We added multisite capabilities because a lot of customers started using us in a department or a use case. Now they're expanding and want to use us globally across all their data centers. We added abilities to have multiple sites inside Komprise and roll them up into a dashboard and set local policies.

The big theme for this year [is] helping customers protect the security of their data. We're seeing a lot of news today about ransomware, so we're providing capabilities to enable [protection]. Komprise can put a copy of the data on immutable cloud.

The other thing we're adding is deep analytics capability. Giving the users a way to search their own data, to find the data they need -- we're adding more capabilities around that.

How do we help our customers securely manage their data across diverse environments, and how do we help them monetize their data better -- those are the two angles on which we're doing a lot of product development.

What differentiates this multisite control from past data management features?

Subramanian: For us, it was always on our roadmap. We provide a single view across different environments. You could have different storage, different clouds. From day one, we've been providing that.

The difference is customers sometimes want to carve that single view into smaller sites for security and other reasons.

For example, maybe the European Union data should only be seen by people in the EU. Even though we can provide a global view across all data, they want only a global view in the EU region. They want policies in that region that are different than policies in North America.

We can actually carve out that global view. We can say EU folks use the EU site and they can set their local policies, control their institution locally, and control security locally. Senior executives can still get a roll-up dashboard of key metrics of both of these [regions].

We're providing for greater ways to localize control, policies and security, while still giving global access. Customers are increasingly looking at things like security at a regional level.

Where does Komprise see itself fitting into IT security against ransomware?

Subramanian: We do have a unique perspective. We're not a security company, and we're not saying we're going to be a ransomware company, but data plays a very important role when it comes to security.

Because we're analyzing data, we can find trends and anomalies very quickly. For example, if suddenly you see an unusual amount of reads in a directory or you see a large amount of writes, we alert IT. Sometimes that might be warranted, but sometimes it could be a malicious attack. Giving people some predictability to forewarn them is helpful. That's one place our analytics helps.

The other thing is, you may never be able to prevent an attack and your data might be compromised, but if you had a copy of that data elsewhere and immutable, you have that added protection. Because we copy data, we enable customers to put data on Amazon S3 with an object lock. I wouldn't say we do all ransomware, but we help our customers defend through anomaly protection and immutable copies of data.

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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