Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Sector Heats Up with Amazon Acquisition


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired Israeli disaster recovery specialist CloudEndure for a reported $250 million as it seeks to bolster its data backup and cyber resilience offer in the cloud.

In a statement confirming the saleOpens a new window , CloudEndure said: “This acquisition expands our ability to deliver innovative and flexible migration, backup and disaster recovery solutions.” The two companies have been in partnership under the AWS Advanced Technology umbrella since 2016, but the acquisition represents a determined push by AWS, the world’s largest cloud computing provider, to reassure businesses that their data is safe in the cloud.

Founded in 2012, CloudEndure creates software that continuously backs up data so it can be quickly accessed if a company’s computer system crashes. This ensures companies can recover data and keep on functioning in the event of a cyberattack or data center outage.

The Disaster Business

Disaster recovery is a growing issue for businesses as they become increasingly dependent on digital systems. There has been a rise in ransomware attacks in which criminals shut down a computer network and demand payment to restore it. The devastating WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks in 2017 hit a range of organizations around the world, including the UK’s National Health Service and Danish shipping giant Maersk.

More attacks are expected.

Meanwhile, companies’ own data centers can fail due to technical problems or harsh weather conditions. Having a readily-available backup of all their data is essential to help organizations recover quickly from cyberattacks and outages

A case for shifting IT operations to the cloud: The cloud provider becomes responsible for disaster recovery, assuming responsibility for data backup and restore in the event of an attack or shutdown.

But the situation has become complicated. There has been a growth in hybrid cloud strategies, where companies use both a cloud service and their own private data center, or implement a multi-cloud approach, using a range of different cloud providers for their computing needs.

The latter is where CloudEndure can prove useful, offering to back up data continuously across different cloud providers and data centers, and offer services across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud cloud platforms.

Integration Options Follow Sale

Now the question is what AWS will do with CloudEndure. Will it be allowed to continue its core multi-cloud offer? Or will it be for the exclusive use of AWS customers? Exclusivity could undermine its offer to work across multi-cloud and hybrid scenarios.

Every IT department needs a disaster recovery strategy. Resilience is vital. If data becomes unobtainable from the usual sources, companies need to be able to call up the same data quickly from elsewhere to keep their business running.

CloudEndure gives the example of its client Malibu Boats, the world’s largest maker of high performance sports boats. Malibu’s IT disaster recovery plan depended on a secondary data center located close to its main data center, But this was risky as bad weather or a local electricity surge could knock out both.

So Malibu decided to move its backup to the cloud using CloudEndure’s system on AWS. When a key server in the primary data center went down a few weeks after it signed the contract, the system allowed Malibu to revert its operations to a point before the outage and get the same data up and running within minutes. After the faulty server was fixed, Malibu switched from the emergency system back to the server without losing any of the new data that had come onstream since the outage.

Is There Back-Up for Cloud Back-Up?

Simply having data stored in the cloud doesn’t ensure resilience or a fail-proof backup plan. Cloud providers can have outagesOpens a new window if one of their data centers goes down – as happened last fall to Microsoft Azure, while AWS and Google Cloud have also been affected.

A number of disaster recovery-as-a-service offers are on the market, known as DRAAS, which is software that automatically backs up data.

A disaster recovery strategy requires a clear understanding of objectives. The key measure is the “recovery point objective,” or RPO: How long before the outage does the data need to be backed up to function well? If it’s 30 minutes, that means new data needs backing up every 30 minutes. CloudEndure’s continuous backup cuts the RPO to less than a second.

Another key measure is the recovery time objective, or (surprise) RTO: How long it takes before the system is back up and running. Clearly the faster, the better. CloudEndure says its RTO is just a few minutes.

Data safety is a mounting concern for IT professionals as they move their companies’ computer operations on to the Cloud. A full 90% of cybersecurity professionals are concerned about cloud security, according to the 2018 Cloud Security ReportOpens a new window by Crowd Research Partners, up 11 percentage points from the previous year’s survey.

Cloud providers may not be able to prevent cyberattacks and data center outages. But an acquisition such as CloudEndure signals that AWS can help businesses get back on their feet quickly and with little long-term damage when disaster strikes.