The revamped solution increases its speed massively, and provides other efficiencies, and the new capabilities should make partners more strategic to their customers.
Today, Barracuda is announcing that in collaboration with Microsoft, they have entirely rearchitected their Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup solution, which had become sorely tested with the massive increase in Microsoft Office 365 use since it was first introduced four years ago. The rearchitected solution will be exponentially faster in the speed at which it does backups and high-fidelity searches, and will also provide more flexibility around where it restores.
“We had a very successful $100 million purpose-built backup appliance business, and in 2017, we took that solution and pointed it at it at Office 365 and it became one of our fastest growing solutions,” said Tim Jefferson, SVP Engineering for Data, Network and Application Security at Barracuda. “Cloud to Cloud Backup has consistently grown 100% year over year. But we have seen a complete change in how customers have been using backup services. There are so many more users of Office 365 now, and so many more restores. With SaaS based services, people have been creating more data than they were on-prem. It’s easier to collaborate. Backup has shifted from being a DR tool to collaboration – really almost like an editing tool. It’s common now to use a backup tool to restore an earlier version if someone doesn’t like the work.”
That increased level of interaction, combined with the growth of Office generally, created a massive strain on the software’s infrastructure.
“It wasn’t built for that level of data,” Jefferson said. “We could have thrown more servers at it, but we decided to rearchitect it to satisfy modern use cases, with a solution that could scale at speed as customers adopted Office 365.”
The other challenge Barracuda had to deal with was different data retention laws in different countries.
“We needed data centres in almost every country because of requirements that data be stored in the region it was created,” Jefferson said. “Again, we could have built more data centres. Instead, we decided to rearchitect it, working in collaboration with Microsoft. We leveraged their global transit network and global footprint. Leveraging their global points of presence gave us a unique customer advantage, particularly with allowing them to set their retention policies.”
Jefferson emphasized that this software has grown more strategic as cloud usage has evolved, and this isn’t likely to change.
“It has been growing very fast,” he said. “Initially, customers would start with email service and attach backup to it. Now, because data retention policies have become a strategic imperative and important for compliance, many, especially bigger companies start with this and add on.
The rearchitected version of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup is entirely cloud-native.
“We co-developed this with Microsoft,” Jefferson said. “It has a high ability to scale, high resiliency, and the ability to support modern use cases. It’s just a very modern architecture, designed from scratch. Every line of code is new.”
So what difference will customers see? In a word, speed.
“The speed of the backup is materially faster, in some cases 100x faster,” Jefferson said. “It reduces the length of time it takes to do the backups, and the speed at which they can do high fidelity searches. It also provides a lot of flexibility on where it restores. If for example, an employee has been terminated, the company may want to recover their data and restore it to a different location, possibly to their successor.”
For partners, Jefferson said the next-gen product provides a much greater opportunity.
“Data security and retention is a huge area of friction,” he commented. “Partners are looking to expand their practice and add more value. Their subscriptions have been constrained based on the solutions available. This solution will also allow them to expand their global offerings. By expanding their ability to expand their practice and add more value, it lets them be constantly engaging with their customers, rather than just doing annual renewals. It makes them more strategic.”
Jefferson said another new product can be expected soon.
“We’ve also built another new product from scratch – Data Inspector – which is in private preview right now,” he noted. “It will machine read all the data and categorize everything – Personally Identifiable Information, credit cards, credentials – and allow policy around who and what has access to that data. This was also done in collaboration with Microsoft.”
Expect Data Inspector to launch sometime in the next quarter.