StorMagic deepens cloud play for SvKMS encryption with major public cloud integrations

StorMagic expands the cloud presence for the encryption key management offering it acquired earlier this year, which broadens opportunities for their channel partners.

StorMagic has released its latest version of its SvKMS encryption key management technology to add integrations for the three major public clouds, as well as Microsoft BitLocker and Salesforce Shield

StorMagic is an established hyperconverged infrastructure player, one of several who have had a focus on smaller edge deployments. Last April however, they expanded into the security market with the acquisition of Canadian encryption key manager provider KeyNexus. In June, they announced an MSP program, focused around this technology, and in July announced a SaaS version of it. Now, they brand themselves as a joint storage and security company.

“We have been in the storage HCI space for quite awhile, and that still remains the majority of our revenue, with 1300 customers around the world,” said Bruce Kornfeld, StorMagic’s chief marketing and product officer. “That business continues to go well for us, but security is becoming really important to users because of the growth of doing business over the Internet. And COVID has made that worse or better – whichever way you want to look at it. A lot of businesses around the world were forced to accelerate their digital transformation. There’s more commerce over the internet, and there’s more security risk. So that part of the business is getting a lot of attention, although as a portion of the business, it’s not close to where we are on the storage side.”

Kornfeld emphasized that while encryption itself has become ever more important, the encryption itself, which was once such a bear to operate that many customers turned it off, has become simple to manage.

“The encryption itself is not the hard part for end users,” he said. “They click a button and enable encryption, whether it’s for Oracle or the cloud. The encryption is easy now. It’s the key management that’s the hard part.”

StorMagic got into the encryption key management business because it complemented the edge focus of their HCI business.

“We got very excited about key management because our end user customers and channel partners had have been focused on storage on the edge – little 2-3 server compute infrastructure where the action is happening, whether for retail outlets or IoT. They told us that security in these environments is a big problem, and that we absolutely had to secure this data.”

The new announcement allows the data to be secured in the major public clouds  as well as at the edge.

“The theme of this whole release is ‘don’t trust the cloud provider with your keys,’” Kornfeld stressed. “That’s how you had to do it in the past. We are one of a select few key managers who are authorized to bring their keys to the cloud.”

Integrations were announced for the ‘big three” public clouds.

StorMagic is now part of Google’s Google Cloud External Key Management Program, so StorMagic customers using Google Cloud customers can use keys from SvKMS to protect data within Google Cloud, including Google services like  Kubernetes Engine and BigQuery.

An integration with Microsoft Azure Key Vault Managed Hardware Security Module [HSM] lets customers use any supported on-premises HSMs to generate keys and use SvKMS to import and manage the keys as part of an enterprise-wide key management system.

The Amazon Web Services [AWS] integration includes continued support for external key management with AWS S3 and EC2 using the bring-your-own-key [BYOK] approach.

“For Google Cloud and AWS, we have had the ability to bring keys to the cloud in the past, but by using our own REST API and custom integrations,” Kornfeld said. “If a VAR wanted to use SVKMS there, we could do it, but would take some work, writing right scripts to integrate with the cloud. Being involved in those key programs means that this custom work isn’t required any more. We have made it easy for VARs and end users to protect and make their own keys for these cloud applications.”

Integrations were also announced for Salesforce Shield and Microsoft BitLocker. Salesforce Shield is a set of security tools used with Salesforce applications which provide security beyond that contained in basis Salesforce for customers who want that. Users can enable encryption and with SvKMS, manage encryption keys outside of Salesforce for greater security.

Similarly, Microsoft BitLocker is a utility that encrypts laptops and desktops, and the integration lets  BitLocker backup keys be protected through SvKMS.

“This is a very common utility, which tends to be standard on corporate notebooks,” Kornfeld stated. “Because of COVID, we are seeing massive laptop production. This creates a strong channel opportunity, working with BitLocker because they now encrypt so many laptops. Typically, because the encryption key is gone if a notebook is lost or stolen, the keys tend to be kept on spreadsheets, which is not ideal for security. SvKMS makes it much easier to manage all these keys, which is a very important use case these days.”

Kornfeld stressed that the expansion of SvKMS’ Go-to-Market presence significantly enhances opportunities for channel partners, who are StorMagic’s route to market.

“From their perspective its one GTM, where we enable the channel to go to their customers with one complete solution – the HCI and the ability to protect that data at the edge,” he said. “However, this new announcement is an additional revenue stream for the channel. Most of our partners also sell other things. They have customers putting more applications into the cloud and a lot of them resell those public clouds. With SvKMS, we‘ve just given them one more thing they can bundle and make money on.”

SvKMS integrations had earlier been finalized with 14 other companies and technologies including AWS, Commvault, IBM, MariaDB, MongoDB, MySQL, NetApp, Nutanix, OpenStack, vSAN, VMware vSphere and Veritas

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