MSPAlliance Executive Interview with CloudBerry Lab
CloudBerry Lab is a vendor offering a cloud backup solution to managed service providers. Founded in 2008 and based on the Amazon Web Services platform, CloudBerry's Alexander Negrash took some time to speak with MSPAlliance about the company and their interest in working MSPs.
Who is CloudBerry?
CloudBerry or CloudBerry Lab was started in 2008 with an idea to develop a simple file manager to help store and manage files on S3. I must say that today having AWS console, tons of documentation and dozens if not hundreds of Amazon S3 related software, it is not so hard to exploit S3 as it used to be in 2008. Back there it was only for developers and we built CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3 and shared it with the community to allow easily access and manage Amazon S3 accounts. At the moment we have over 150 000 users of CloudBerry Explorer freeware version and we still see new users are coming.
Over the course of four years Amazon S3 grew as a platform and added advanced features, new cloud storage providers entered the market. Seeing that growth in cloud computing industry in general and cloud storage services in particular we rolled out CloudBerry Backup, a solution to automate files system backup to Amazon S3, Windows Azure, Google Cloud, Rackspace and a bunch of other popular cloud services providers. Unlike other cloud backup solutions CloudBerry Backup allows users have their own public cloud storage storage account as a backup storage and benefit from low prices and other advantages of cloud storage.
We believe that Managed Service Providers are moving cloud backup technology to the masses. With Amazon Web Services (AWS) expected to become a $24 billion business within the next decade we suggest that instead of competing with Amazon's cloud, MSPs must find ways to leverage its growing presence, influence and capabilities. Among the prime opportunities: Integrating their managed backup services with AWS.
That's where CloudBerry Managed Backup enters the picture. It's integrated with Amazon Web Services, allowing MSPs to use their own AWS account to store customer backups on S3 (Simple Storage Service) or Glacier. The storage account is 100 percent owned and managed by a service provider. In other words, CloudBerry Lab doesn't have access to the customer data that MSPs store and manage in AWS. With CloudBerry Managed Backup MSPs manage the data, MSPs set end-customer pricing (applying a mark-up to AWS’s fees) and MSPs control their brand and the customer engagement.
What types of MSPs do you ideally want for your channel program?
Small and medium sized Managed Service Providers can benefit from CloudBerry Managed Backup. And the main reason is that the vast majority of MSPs, particularly small medium size service providers, don't want to build out their own clouds. It's too costly to build and maintain a cloud datacenter entirely from scratch. And keeping pace with Amazon's cloud price cuts is an impossible task; Amazon has cut AWS prices more than two-dozen times since launching the service.
Some MSPs align with small BDR vendors that have built their own proprietary clouds. But that also introduces some new risks to their business, since they never truly know just how well a small, privately held BDR vendor is performing financially.
Our strategy here at CloudBerry Lab is different. Service providers can white label our CloudBerry Backup solution, then store customer backups in well-known and secure Amazon cloud. MSPs control the customer engagement. MSPs control where customers store their data. And MSPs are free to move the data from one cloud to another -- seeking out the best service provider for each customer instance.
How does CloudBerry distinguish itself from other cloud backup solutions?
There are three main "unlikes" we have for our managed backup solution. And I've already mentioned them earlier. The first one is an ability self-managed Amazon S3 or Glacier cloud storage account to store customers backups. The second one is backup software advanced re-branding. And the third "unlike" is advanced remote management and monitoring functionality that allows having full control over the backup jobs on the user computer remotely. Service Providers can fully manage new clients on-boarding and existing clients support remotely, reducing costly truck rolls and on-site visits. And those savings can flow directly to MSP's bottom line.
In your opinion, how should MSPs be marketing and selling cloud backup solutions to their customers?
I believe MSPs should promote the following benefits of cloud backup solutions:
a) Improved data protection. Upon on entering the cloud, the data is propagated to several distinct locations to increase storage redundancy. This ensures its safety throughout any stage of the backup operation. In addition with CloudBerry Backup technology allows users encrypt their data with a unique user key before uploading data to a cloud storage. Even MSPs won't be able to read the data encrypted on the user side.
b) Universal availability. Data is available anywhere in the world; transmission and retrieval requires only high-speed Internet access.
c) No need for IT technician on the payroll/sophisticated infrastructure. Moving objects to the cloud and pulling them back from it is done effortlessly and doesn't require special knowledge. This eliminates the need to deploy or maintain complex storage infrastructure or employ a dedicated IT worker
d) Cost-effectiveness. Amazon constantly decreasing the price for their storage services and has an extremely cheap storage Amazon Glacier costing $0.01 per GB/month. That allows CloudBerry Managed Backup service providers stay profitable while offering cloud backup solution at a competitive pricing.