Oracle Exadata Creator Launches SaaS Backup ‘Disruptor’ Clumio

‘From a complexity perspective, things get worse as enterprise customers move into a world of multi-cloud with Google Cloud Platform, Azure, AWS and VMware Cloud -- that was the reason why we started Clumio. We fundamentally believe that backup fits the proven model for SaaS,’ says Clumio CEO and co-founder Poojan Kumar.

With the launch of startup Clumio, technology guru Poojan Kumar is looking to disrupt the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) backup market through a new solution built from scratch by an all-star team of engineers hailing from VMware and Nutanix to reduce cloud complexity in the enterprise.

“From a complexity perspective, things get worse as enterprise customers move into a world of multi-cloud with Google Cloud Platform, Azure, AWS and VMware Cloud -- that was the reason why we started Clumio,” said Kumar, former CEO and co-founder of PernixData and creator of Oracle Exadata, in an interview with CRN. “We fundamentally believe that backup fits the proven model for SaaS.”

Launching out of stealth on Tuesday after two years of development, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup is backed by $51 million in investor funding, aiming to take the U.S. market by storm.

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[Related: SaaS Startup Clumio Emerges With $51M Backing: 7 Things To Know]

The SaaS backup solution allows enterprises to eliminate hardware and software for on-premise backup and avoid the complexity and cost of running third party backup software in the cloud. The secure service built on the public cloud allows customers to backup both on-premises and public cloud workloads. Clumio consolidates the protection of enterprise data centers, remote sites, VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS service workloads.

Aaron Cardenas, CEO and co-founder of P1 Technologies, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based IT consulting solution provider, said Clumio’s innovative solution can change the way organizations purchase and manage backup.

“I believe this product enables an IT organization to take backup off their plate,” said Cardenas, who is partnering with Clumio. “This allows an organization to say, ‘[Backup] is something we’re going to pay a fix cost for and be done with. It doesn’t reside on our infrastructure, we’re able to recover at any point, we don’t have to worry about code upgrades or anything like that.’ Backup is a good target for SaaS. It just makes more sense from a financial perspective. I think backup could be the next big pin that is knocked down as far as moving to cloud.”

Customers pay for Clumio based on the number of virtual machines (VMs) protected on a per-year basis, without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. “It’s very predicable in terms of the cost structure where you don’t even need to have an AWS account. It’s a true SaaS experience,” said Kumar.

The SaaS solution is currently available across the U.S. initially for AWS and VMware Cloud on AWS, with plans to incorporate Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform in the future.

The startup’s key differentiators including ease of deployment, engineering simplicity, cost savings and technology designed from the ground up to meet cloud requirements.

Clumio leverages the scale and elasticity of the public cloud to scale dynamically to meet the changing needs of the enterprise. Security is incorporated at the core of its design to provide a secure backup and recovery service. Users can enforce policies for their VMs running on-premise or on VMware Cloud on AWS with one management interface.

If there’s a spike in backup demand, Clumio automatically scales processing and storage resources. Instead of managing upgrades, customers receive automatic updates that address issues and add functionality. Subscriptions include support that monitors all critical backup and recovery functions.

“As workloads are moving to the cloud, none of these architectures are built to go and protect workloads in the cloud the right way. Because in the cloud, you’re not going to protect workloads by providing a complex piece of software and telling the customer run it across their accounts, across their regions, to manage it – then they have a huge bill. So the whole point of moving to the cloud is gone when you do that,” said Kumar. “So as workloads move to the cloud, these architectures just don’t fit into the cloud. So right there, it’s a complete greenfield market for us.”

P1 Technologies’ Cardenas said Clumio differentiates itself from other SaaS platforms and the cloud in general by its simplicity.

“The one misconception that people have is, I go to Amazon with my credit card and I spin up an environment and I’m off and running. That’s not the reality. You have to worry about networking, provisioning and things like that. It’s relatively difficult to engineer and architect in the cloud,” said Clumio. “With the Clumio solution, it’s all done for you. There’s no architecture, no engineering, you literally set it up and start backing up to the cloud. … This is uniquely different, a disruptor, and much more akin to the Salesforces’ or ServiceNow’s of the world in that you buy the license and you’re pretty much done.”

Cardenas said he is placing its bets on Clumio, in part, due to Kumar’s stellar IT innovation resume.

Kumar, a former teenage professional chess player, started his IT chops at Oracle in 2001. He was critical in the creation of Oracle Exadata, the company’s popular database machine that is currently used by 77 percent of the Fortune 100 companies. Kumar later co-founded and led the innovative storage startup PrenixData, which was quickly acquired by Nutanix in 2016.

“Poojan has continuously broken the mold,” he said. “In Exadata, he broke the mold for how storage was to be aligned with the application, in that case, the application database. In PernixData, the application was virtualization. Clumio is the same thing, we’re talking about backing up virtualized workloads – it should be different from traditional backup,” said Cardenas. “It’s amazing for him to come in and say, ‘Okay, how can we do this better?’ I believe they’ve come up with something that they can do better.”

Kumar said his startup will be a channel-centric company, with plans to launch a formal Partner Program in the future.

“You’re seeing a secular shift that’s happening in the cloud. You’re going to see more and more enterprise companies that are going to be built on the public cloud and deliver value on top of this new infrastructure. Back in the day, it use to be Dell, Cisco and HP. Now, it’s your AWS, Azure, GCP – that’s your infrastructure,” said Kumar. “Discontinuity is what excites me and that is what gives an opportunity to folks like us.”

Kumar said Clumio’s first solution is just scratching the surface of what he hopes to build in coming years. “I fundamentally believe for the right enterprise companies, there’s no real finish line and there’s a huge market and there’s a lot to disrupt and innovate,” he said. “We hope that we’ll barley be scratching the surface over the next two to three years to go and really build an innovative company.”