ERP037 - Cloudberry Backup w/ Doug Hazelman

Doug Hazelman - VP Technical Marketing

Doug Hazelman - VP Technical Marketing

Today's podcast is brought to you by Cloudberry. Your #1 cross-platform cloud backup platform. I’m chatting with Doug Hazelman (@VMDoug), VP of technical marketing with Cloudberry.

Backups are an important offering for any IT service provider. Cloudberry is focused on supporting MSPs build a flexible backup offering that protects servers and workstations, as well as cloud app data like Office 365 and G suite.

Cloudberry allows a free trial of their software, so why not sign up and give it a spin?

Doug hosts an MSP focused podcast called MSP Voice that you should subscribe to.


Todd: On the podcast today, I have Doug Hazelman, vp of technical marketing with cloudberry. Welcome Doug.

Doug: Thanks todd. Glad to be here.

Todd: So we're going to be talking about backup an extremely important topic for any it service provider as far as the things that you absolutely should be doing. Virus Protection and backup rank pretty much one and two are the things that that should be important as it service providers. So this is an important topic. You're with cloudberry and it's a cloud backup software born in the cloud type approach. If you want, give us a rundown on what excites you about cloudberry as a product offering for msps and it service providers.

Doug: Sure, so I've been in the backup is for awhile, but you know, one of the things I love about cloudberry is first they're focused on the it service provider, managed service provider market, so our managed backup service is targeted towards that and then I think what really sets us apart in his unique differentiator is the fact that we don't provide the cloud storage. The managed service provider provides the cloud storage and we support over 30 different cloud storage providers so you can go all in on aws s three if you want to or maybe azure or you can even mix and match and what that allows you to do is create offerings for your customers. Maybe they want the platinum level and they have a certain budget. Or is this someone who just needs some basic stuff and it doesn't have a lot of money. Maybe choose a different cloud storage provider that's a little bit easier on their budgets, so it really gives a lot of choice to the managed service providers and it prevents any kind of cloud lock in because even though you might choose aws to beginning, you can always move that to azure or google or Wasabi or backblaze, you know, doubt down the road. So you're not locked into any one particular platform.

Todd: Right. So the front end is yours to manage and even brand as well. And the back end is kind of irrelevant as long as the data's safe and backed up, it allows you a bit more flexibility to work with your own stack without that really affecting the day to day operations of the backup for the, for the client, right?

Doug: Yes, exactly.

Todd: And the system does image based backup as well as file based backup. Is there a distinction in the product or is that just a part of the, configuration?

Doug: It's, it's really just a part of the configuration. So whether you want to do image or file, um, is kind of up to you and what your customer's needs are. Um, you know, the Nice thing about image is it gives you quick recovery of the complete, you know, server or workstation, but you know, a lot of times if you're on limited bandwidth, file level backup, you know, you're, you're protecting the data that might be just good enough for, for what that customer needs because sometimes image level can take a while to upload to the cloud versus file level, which is usually pretty quick.

Todd: Right. And do you find people who have a different strategy for the server infrastructure versus managing maybe backup for an endpoint and can you mix and match that as well?

Doug: Oh definitely. So what we see a lot is, especially for critical servers as the image level backup, just because recovery can be so much quicker. And then for desktops, a lot of times it's just kind of file level backup or backup, the profile directory, those types of things where the, where the data is. And then the other thing from a recovery perspective is, you know, we talk a lot about the cloud and backup to the cloud, but you can also backup locally. So, you know, when I talk about that image level backup and recovery, maybe you do image level backup locally, but then file level backup to the cloud. So it's completely configurable in terms of however you want to do that. Again, based on needs, budget, bandwidth, all those types of things.

Todd: And the, I see a trend in the industry with kind of the alignment of some of the other vendors around a single stack. You guys are off obviously feature based in the fact that you are a kind of roll your own and design your own backup strategy as is. You're either cloudberry sense of this or your own personal situation or a feeling on having an appliance or not having an appliance given your history of veeam. I think there might be, uh, maybe some, uh, some influence in that. But I'd love your thoughts on appliance or no appliance. And what does that matter?

Doug: So it goes back to what I said about vendor lock in. You know, as soon as you have an appliance, you're locked into that vendor and to that appliance. And if you want to change, then how do you get that data that's on that appliance or in that proprietary cloud out and into the new system that you want to use. But actually if you've got regulations where you need to keep backups and those types of things, it kind of goes back to that whole vendor lock in. So those are. Those are kinds of things you want to be kind of concerned about. The other is [inaudible]. Not all companies are this way, but a lot of times is the upfront cost with the appliance because you're getting hardware now, some offer rental models and those types of things. But in an office of 10 people, do you really need a $20,000 sitting in their office to kind of handle the backup needs? Or is it fine just to have the backup locally installed on, on the pcs and servers and sending it to the cloud and to a NAS that you have local that you only spent a couple hundred bucks a month.

Todd: Right, So I guess to extend on that, if you don't have a local appliance to backup to, it can slow the recovery. What are the options for folks if they're gonna use cloudberry for that. Being able to do quick recovery from a local image rather than have to stream that image from the Internet, which could obviously take a few hours.

Doug: Yeah, there's actually a couple different scenarios that are. So if you're storing your image backups locally, then if you're a virtualized you can take that image and spin it up as a vm restored as a virtual machine and your, your, your backup and running that way. If you have hardware that's a desktop or laptop, you can do bare metal recovery onto new hardware. You know, and again you're, you're doing it locally so you don't have to like copy it all down from the Internet. And when we talk about cloud specifically, if you're looking at Amazon or Azure, we also have the option of recovering that image as a cloud based virtual machine. So you can recover it. You're saving it to s three. You can recover it as an [inaudible] virtual machine in Amazon or as an Azure vm and in Azure, so, and we're looking to add additional platforms to that, but that way in the event of a disaster where male, maybe the entire offices is no longer there, but you know, you still need to have people access the servers and those types of things. You can spin it up in the cloud and have people access to it in the cloud versus having to have anything locally in order to recover it too.

Todd: And is that something that's built into the software that you can ask for that image to be pushed up into the EC2 image and run from your platform and you have to do that separate from cloudberry?

Doug: Uh, no. So from a Cloudberry perspective, if you're sending your image level backup to either Amazon, S3 or Azure, then you get the option to recover that image as a vm in either of those platforms. So that was nothing. There's nothing else special that you need to do.

Todd: Cool. All right. And the other half that I found interesting about the platform as well as you guys also offer cloud application backup, so Office 365 and g suite and this is something that is becoming a lot more important a lot. A lot of people don't think that this is something that they would require back in the day of or like, well it runs in the cloud, it's managed. Someone else pays to look after this. It can be a pretty awful mistake once people realize that is not a and inherent protection for those cloud based systems. So maybe just tell us a bit more about the cloud backup functions of cloudberry.

Doug: Sure. You know, I always like to say it's your data. You need to protect it just because you're running office 365 or G-suite, they may have a backup of your email, but it may only be for the last two weeks. You know, they don't have any kind of retention unless you want to pay extra for it. The fact is it's still your data or your customers stayed at the thing. You'd be able to access it if they need to. So I always recommend even if you are running in the cloud, backup your data and you know, with our, our Office 365 and G-suite protection, one of the cool things I think is you can backup cloud to cloud. So if you're, you know, Office365, you can back up to Amazon s three if your G-suite you can backup to azure or Amazon or any other cloud. So that way you know the data's protected on a different platform. You need to recover, you can still do that.

Todd: So you guys really play the glue in the middle to shuffle stuff around in whatever cloud you choose and clouds you need. Right?

Doug: Correct. We live in a multi-cloud world, so yeah.

Todd: And that's truly the case now. I mean you often see people discussing it in forums and things like that. Asking your, you guys on Azure or Amazon and people seem to be sort of a, some things here, some things over there. So being able to be portable between those environments as you figured out your footing would be important for sure.

Doug: Yeah definitely.

Todd: And from a branding perspective, really nice addition that you guys have is that you can white label this so that it doesn't look like the vendor is using a particular piece of software in the background. Not that that matters maybe, but you know, some people really like having that brand identity and that this is our ABC, a it services backup software. So that's a nice play. Have you found people really gravitate towards that?

Speaker 1: Definitely. And the one area you know and where I see it's really valuable to have that capability is if a program prompt pops up and it says cloudberry, what's the customer going to do? Are they going to call their IT service provider or are they going to contact cloudberry? You want them to see your name if you're managing their it. And that's what this allows. So something pops up, it says ABC it, okay, I know to call my abc it guy, you know, whatever it makes it look like. Yes, this is an offering that we have. It's our brand that customers typically don't necessarily care about the back end technology. They just want to know that they're protected and it's the best way to do that.

Todd: That's a good point. The other one I thought of as you were, you were talking about that would be hopefully they're becoming security aware and if they see some prompt from a piece of software they don't recognize, maybe they would question that hopefully.

Doug: Exactly.

Todd: So in some circumstances, but if it is ABC it backup, then they're more comfortable with that piece of software running if they're somewhat security sensitive. Right?

Doug: Exactly.

Todd: Yeah. What about the traditional competition that backup faces in maybe the client where you've got a weekend warrior it guy and he you, you proposed some backup pricing for them and he does some quick Google research and says, wow, this is really expensive compared to la, la, la, whatever. Backup service. This is something that I've seen historically in the past where people don't really understand the distinction between backup services and why they're different.

Doug: So most people would probably not say that cloudberry is too expensive if you actually look at the pricing so you know, so that that's kind of one aspect that we do have going for us. But you know, people are going to shop around and they're going to look at pricing. A lot of people are very price conscious and price sensitive and again, because we're not offering the cloud, we don't have a data center, we're restoring your data. It allows us to offer very competitive pricing for the software component and then you can go out and shop around for the cloud storage and for the cloud services. So that takes kind of the pricing pressure out of it in terms of, of you know, cloudberry. But what you do see is they will shop around and, and you'll, you know, like you said, you brought up appliances and someone's, oh well give me a free appliance and then it's only so much per month. That may be the case, but then you know, what's your maintenance, what's your refresh cycle on hardware and those types of things. So things that people don't necessarily always think about it, they just look at price there. There's a lot more to it than just price.

Todd: Yeah. And I think the, the options of how you're backing up things are important. One of the distinctions that I found people didn't really understand in those scenarios where they would, they would do some research and try to compete with some off the shelf software is most of those systems or file based and that's okay if you just need to recover the files, but if you lose an entire server or a workstation, there's still the effort of recovering that machine versus just being able to restore from an image. So it's important that people educate their customers on why the backups are different and where that situation may apply. Uh, and again, advantage for you guys that you can kind of mix and match and whatever those scenarios are for sure. The other spots or you do have some PSA integration. So you guys plug into connectwise and autotask, can you expand a bit on, on what the features are that, that are allowed for by having that PSA integration directly?

Doug: Well, one of the nice things is from a ticketing perspective, you know, if it's, if it's with your psa, then it can obviously we can tie into the ticketing system and, and bring those up. The other is, you know, from a billing perspective, we could bring in that usage info from, from what they're using on cloudberry, hold that into their PSA if they're, if they're using it for billing and we even bring in the amount of cloud storage they're using. So you can set the price on cloud storage that you charge the customer. Okay. They're using, you know, this is how many gigabytes or terabytes that they're using a cloud storage, so this is going to be their price this month and those types of things. So really streamlines that process. And then besides psa we also have our mm integration with connectwise automate and we have a couple of others that we have integration that aren't necessarily on our website, but they're integrated from the perspective of that RMM vendor. So like Ninjas and example, and really deep integration with Ninja. But if you purchase from Ninja add cloudberry to it, then you get that deep integration.

Todd: And you guys have really easy deployment because you're just software and you can kind of just pop that onto whatever managed assets the, the, the vendor would need, right?

Doug: Yes.

Todd: Okay. And what about a roadmap? What are some features that cloudberry have in the archives you guys are looking to spin out?

Doug: We're always working on something and a couple of things. We're looking at expanding some of the support we have for our cloud storage vendors to offer things that, you know, currently we might only offer on Amazon or Azure. So like synthetic backup is one of those items where rather than having to do a weekly full backup, you can just keep doing an incremental and then have the synthetic backup buildup in the cloud. So that's something we offer for Amazon and Azure. We're rolling it out some other platforms as well. Also the recovery verification, I'm looking at doing that automated so that once a backup is complete, let's run through a restore scenario and verify that yes, this is a good backup. You'll be able to restore from it if you need to. So that's another thing that's coming down the road on the backup side. Very cool. And what about the vendors that you guys deal with, the cloud vendors, have you developed relationships with them or do you sort of Wade into that at all? Like red? Do you leave that more agnostic for the providers

Doug: No, we have relationships with all the vendors for most of the vendors that we support. So we have a great relationship with Amazon. Great relationship with Microsoft and Azure. There was a webinar today with Wasabi, a joint webinar that we're doing with them. We've done joint stuff with backblaze. We've done a lot of work with Ninja, so we do have a very healthy partnership ecosystem and managing those partnerships moving forward.

Todd: Excellent. And if people are using some form of backup or they're looking for alternatives, what are your suggestions for them and learning more about cloudberry? Well, first off is we offer free trials. So if you want to get in, just take a look at our managed backup service go to Go to manage backup, um, and sign up for a free trial. And once you get access to the free trial, we verify that you are a managed service provider first before we give you access I, but once you have access to it, we actually throw in some free storage. We are testing, so I just a couple of gigs of Amazon S3 storage. So you get that for free so you can test it within also that unlocks access to the pricing information. So we don't put our for our managed backup service, this targeted MSPs, we don't publish, we don't publicly put the pricing on the Internet just because we don't want our MSP customers to see the pricing, you know, they're like, oh, you're only paying this much for that, for the backup. Why are you charging me more, but once you are signed up for the trial, you can click the buy button and it brings up the menu of pricing. You can put in numbers, you can see we have very aggressive volume discounts so you know that first number you see is that just the list price, but you know you up the quantity, the 30, 50 ,100 and you'll see the discount kick in and the price drop and really significantly so that's one of the best ways to get started and take a look at it is just do a trial

Todd: And you go outside of the MSP market, you do offer enterprise backup as well, so if someone is in host it and they would like to look at this and wanting to experiment with some, some backend vendors like S3 and azure and things like that. There is options for the direct to enterprises as well, right?

Doug: Yeah. We again are managed backup. We target for managed service providers, but if there is in house it they can take a look at that as well. We do have some customers that aren't managed service provider using our managed backup service, but if you're at home and just a home user and a prosumer and you like this idea of being able to backup to the cloud, but you don't need this whole management interface. We have what I call our standalone backup, which is cloud, very backup and you can download, install that. The pricing on that is published. There's a free version and that can help you get started. You just at home, you've got a couple of computers that you went back up to the cloud. Cloud backup is the way to go.

Todd: Alright, Doug will appreciate your time here and uh, informing us on cloudberry. If people would like to find out more about the product or cloudberry itself, any social channels or other mediums they should look for you and follow you on.

Doug: Yeah, so for cloudberry, it's cloudberry lab. Which is on twitter and in other areas. So and then is the website. For me personally, I am @VMDoug across most of the socials, so you'll find me there on twitter, instagram, and other areas including reddit and then finally, one other thing that we do have is as a kind of a resource for the community is we do a podcast. I do a podcast called MSP voice and the goal of MSP Voice is it's not meant to be a podcast about cloudberry, but it's meant to be a podcast for MSPS, hearing from other MSP, so each week I interview a different managed service provider or someone in the industry and we don't talk about cloud or we talk about what's going on in the industry or know how they grew their business and any tips and tricks they have for other msps.

Todd: Yeah, it's a good one. I've listened to MSP voice. It's a. it's a fun podcast, so definitely check that out. All right, well we'll wrap up there and thanks for your time dot all.

Doug: Alright, thank you. Todd.

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