Business continuity, CSPs, Storage

OwnBackup: More than Cloud-to-Cloud Backup for


At first glance, OwnBackup specializes in cloud-to-cloud backup for, Slack and ServiceNow. But take a closer look and some additional use cases are emerging for developers and other highly demanding users.

“We're seeing a growing number of global companies realize the importance of safeguarding their Saleforce data,” OwnBackup CEO Sam Gutmann tells ChannelE2E. “They're realizing the data faces the same risks whether it resides in a server you own; a server in the cloud; or -- unbeknownst to popular belief -- data on a SaaS application.”

Gutmann is a familiar name in the cloud backup market. He previously was co-founder and CEO of Intronis, which Barracuda Networks acquired in 2015. Gutmann exited Intronis several years ago, studied the IT market for new opportunities, did some angel investing, and re-emerged to lead OwnBackup in April 2015.

Replication and Data Integrity

A growing number of companies offer cloud-to-cloud backup services for Salesforce, Office 365 and more. But OwnBackup positions itself as more than a backup service.

For instance, the replication capabilities also make it a popular service for developers, according to Bridget Piraino, executive VP of marketing. “One of the challenges for developers is being able to create fresh sets of relevant test data in order to test new workflows and integrations or applications that they're putting into their SalesForce or other SaaS world,” she says.

Bridget Piraino
Bridget Piraino

Applications often behave in unexpected ways. Introducing a new application into a Salesforce or other SaaS system has the potential to create data corruption. OwnBackup’s system lets partners test out these interactions beforehand. “We allow them to pull data, filter it, and then when they're ready they can use a couple of clicks to take that to a testable environment,” says Piraino.

Key adopters include Skillsoft, which claims to train more professionals than any other company in the world. Roughly 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies use its on-demand e-learning services. The company's courses, videos, and books are accessed more than 130 million times a month. Considering Skillsoft offers 100% cloud access at all times, the company definitely has a vested interested in protecting data.

“They're a company that does so much online they're looking to make their user experience very streamlined,” said Piraino. “So having the right data, having the right connections within the data, and making sure the integrity of their data remains is very important.”

Skillsoft isn’t the first enterprise-class adopter to embrace OwnBackup. Yellow Pages, for instance, also leverages OwnBackup. "When you get to a certain scale, the daily operations that protect the data that are required just become unwieldy,” says Piraino.

Finding The Error

Cloud backup is a completely different animal than infrastructure backup, according to Gutmann. In traditional cases, IT pros usually have access to the underlying computer or virtual computer. But with SaaS, companies are limited to the program interfaces created by the solution provider. Gutmann says OwnBackup is focused on solving that problem.

“What our system is specifically designed to do is take a snapshot before the data loss, take a snapshot after the data loss, and we have a really sophisticated set of comparison tools,” says Gutmann. “So we'll show you, object by object, field by field, everything that's been changed, added, or deleted.”

Imagine you’re dealing with a giant database of customers: If someone is inputting new information and they accidentally override old data, it can be very difficult to pinpoint where the problem is. “You might not even realize you've overwritten a thousand addresses for days or weeks or months,” says Gutmann. “So it's really hard to figure out what happened and we have some proactive alerting for that.”

The Cloud: Automatic Backup?

In recent years, enterprise companies have increasingly turned toward cloud-based storage and cloud-run applications for their solutions. Many people believe that once data is in the cloud it’s fully protected by the hosting provider or CSP. Gutmann considers that a dangerous myth.

Piraino agrees, saying companies like Skillsoft are now opting for an extra layer of protection. “Many organizations are leveraging SaaS applications and realizing the out-of-the-box capabilities to protect that data may not necessarily meet their requirements when it comes down to real data loss or corruption situations,” says Piraino.

With so much information moving to the cloud, protecting those data sets has become a major business.