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Clumio backup seeks to simplify with SaaS

As a new vendor’s first customer, the IT leader of a city wouldn’t be faulted for worrying about the product.

But Cory Smith, CIO and CTO of Davenport, Iowa, said he didn’t have concerns with using Clumio for backup and recovery. Clumio, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., came out of stealth Aug. 13 with its cloud-based backup as a service.

Smith said the city was looking for a new backup product earlier this year when Clumio contacted him about trying out a beta version. He said he felt more at ease with the product after using it in beta and performing backups and restores. The city purchased Clumio as soon as it became generally available April 30.

Though Davenport doesn’t have a major cloud initiative, Smith said going cloud-only for backup is a goal.

“This is one of those situations where the cloud is really good for us,” Smith said.

Striving for simplicity

Clumio CEO and co-founder Poojan Kumar aims for his company to do with backup what Salesforce has done with CRM and ServiceNow with service management. He wants to deliver a true service offering that’s completely run and managed in the cloud by Clumio.

“SaaS is taking over,” Kumar said. “Our founding vision was really around going and building a data management platform on top of the public cloud.”

SaaS is taking over. Our founding vision was really around going and building a data management platform on top of the public cloud.
Poojan KumarCEO, Clumio

Kumar said he wants customers to get away from the complex nature of installing software and hardware for backup. In addition, as workloads are moving to the cloud, the practice of using multiple accounts, regions and clouds is increasing complexity.

“We saw all of this as an opportunity for simplification,” Kumar said.

To start, Clumio protects on-premises and cloud-based VMware environments on top of AWS. It also provides native AWS backup for accounts that run Elastic Compute Cloud and Elastic Block Store.

The majority of backup vendors were “born in the world of on premises,” delivering protection through software, hardware or both, which the customer has to manage, Kumar said. He said legacy backup players cannot take advantage of the public cloud “the right way” by building a cloud-native architecture and true SaaS platform.

“By SaaS, I mean a true service that is multi-tenant that frees the customer from the mundane of managing these solutions,” Kumar said.

Andrew Smith, research manager at IDC, noted that Clumio customers don’t need to use anything on premises. They can simply spin up the virtual appliance and start using Clumio. The vendor says it takes 15 minutes to get the product running.

“The way they’re approaching backup as a service as an all-inclusive platform is unique,” Smith said. “The idea is to ‘SaaSify’ the entire backup environment.”

Davenport’s Smith said even with his larger environment — about 70 VMs and 40 TB worth — getting to the cloud was not an issue.

The city, with a population of about 100,000, has to retain some data indefinitely. For example, police video — a data set that’s often large — could be critical in court 10 years from now.

“The city’s not going to go out of business,” he said. “I’ve got to keep it.”

Smith said its price is an advantage. Because Clumio charges per virtual machine rather than by the size of the VM, the cost does not rise as a VM grows larger.

Screenshot of Clumio backup
Clumio, a backup-as-a-service vendor that came out of stealth Aug. 13, charges per VM.

A look at current and future features

Smith said Davenport was looking for a new backup system because its Rubrik platform wasn’t performing well enough, especially with getting data sets to the cloud. The city wanted to get away from running hardware on premises and using traditional disaster recovery, and sought a cheap cloud service.

“Clumio has kind of hit that niche,” Smith said.

He acknowledged that the product is not yet mature and Clumio is still adding functionality. He said he’s looking for the vendor to add Microsoft Exchange and SQL support. Davenport still uses old Veeam licensing for Exchange and SQL Server, but Smith said he thinks eventually the city will only use Clumio for backup. He said he finds the interface and search easy to use.

Security wise, Clumio’s backups are encrypted in transit and at rest. Kumar said its immutability is especially important in the face of data protection threats like ransomware.

“You know that you can go back to the copy [and] it’s going to be kosher,” Kumar said. “We do a whole bunch of things automatically in the platform to make sure that it is restorable to the previous copy. It’s not just about backing it up — it’s about making sure it is restorable.”

Kumar said he expects Clumio will delve into machine learning to help look at potential issues with customer data.

Funding, founders, fighting status quo

Clumio has $51 million in funding over two rounds. Sutter Hill Ventures led the Series A round. Index Ventures drove the Series B round, which also had significant participation from Sutter Hill Ventures.

The company was founded in 2017. Kaustubh Patil, vice president of engineering, and CTO Woon Ho Jung were the other founders with Kumar. All three founders previously worked at VMware, Nutanix and PernixData. Kumar was a founder of PernixData, which was acquired by Nutanix.

Clumio has about 75 employees, Kumar said.

The product is sold exclusively through the channel.

IDC’s Smith said competition will include Veeam, Zerto, Rubrik and Cohesity, as well as the more traditional backup vendors such as Veritas, Dell EMC and Commvault. Druva and Carbonite are also leaders in cloud-based backup.

“They’re going to have to compete with everybody,” Smith said. “It’s going to be pretty difficult.”

It will be important for Clumio to attract customers moving all data to the cloud, Smith said, as well as users tackling multi-cloud and that increased complexity of environment.

Kumar said his biggest competition is the status quo.

“It’s going to be about educating the market that something like this is possible,” Kumar said. “And we can give you freedom from the mundane.”

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How to Create Automated Hyper-V Performance Reports

Wouldn’t it be nice to periodically get an automatic performance review of your Hyper-V VMs? Well, this blog post shows you how to do exactly that.

Hyper-V Performance Counters & Past Material

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with Hyper-V performance counters and PowerShell, developing new reporting tools. I thought I’d write about Hyper-V Performance counters here until I realized I already have.
https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/performance-counters-hyper-v-and-powershell-part-1/
https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/hyper-v-performance-counters-and-powershell-part-2/
Even though I wrote these articles several years ago, nothing has really changed. If you aren’t familiar with Hyper-V performance counters I encourage you to take a few minutes and read these. Otherwise, some of the material in this article might not make sense.

Get-CimInstance

Normally, using Get-Counter is a better approach, especially if you want to watch performance over a given timespan. But sometimes you just want a quick point in time snapshot. Or you may have network challenges. As far as I can tell Get-Counter uses legacy networking protocols, i.e. RPC and DCOM. This does not make them very firewall friendly. You could use PowerShell Remoting and Invoke-Command to run Get-Counter on the remote server. Or you can use Get-CimInstance which is what I want to cover in this article.

When you run Get-Counter, you are actually querying performance counter classes in WMI. This means you can get the same information using Get-CimInstance, or Get-WmiObject. But because we want to leverage WSMan and PowerShell Remoting, we’ll stick with the former.

Building a Hyper-V Performance Report

First, we need to identify the counter classes. I’ll focus on the classes that have “cooked” or formatted data.

I’m setting a variable for the computername so that you can easily re-use the code. I’m demonstrating this on a Windows 10 desktop running Hyper-V but you can just as easily point $Computer to a Hyper-V host.

It is pretty easy to leverage the PowerShell pipeline and create a report for all Hyper-V performance counters.

The text file will list each performance counter class followed by all instances of that class. If you run this code, you’ll see there are a number of properties that won’t have any values. It might help to filter those out. Here’s a snippet of code that is a variation on the text file. This code creates an HTML report, skipping properties that likely will have no value.

This code creates an HTML report using fragments. I also am dynamically deciding to create a table or a list based on the number of properties.

HTML Performance Counter Report

Thus far I’ve been creating reports for all performance counters and all instances. But you might only be interested in a single virtual machine. This is a situation where you can take advantage of WMI filtering.

In looking at the output from all classes, I can see that the Name property on these classes can include the virtual machine name as part of the value. So I will go through every class and filter only for instances that contain the name of VM I want to monitor.

This example also adds a footer to the report showing when it was created.

HTML Performance Report for a Single VM

It doesn’t take much more effort to create a report for each virtual machine. I turned my code into the beginning of a usable PowerShell function, designed to take pipeline input.

With this function, I can query as many virtual machines and create a performance report for each.

You can take this idea a step further and run this as a PowerShell scheduled job, perhaps saving the report files to an internal team web server.

I have at least one other intriguing PowerShell technique for working with Hyper-V performance counters, but I think I’ve given you enough to work with for today so I’ll save it until next time.

Wrap-Up

Did you find this useful? Have you done something similar and used a different method? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks for Reading!

Wanted – Gaming Mouse (Logitech Preferred)

I wouldn’t mind a G500 (even though they’re a good few years old), or a newer mouse – I’ll consider any mouse to be fair.

Location: North Lincolnshire

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Dell Latitude 3540 (i5, 8GB Ram, AMD Graphics)

Hi mate am looking at getting a laptop for somebody so just a few questions if you wouldnt mind answering them please?

– from the photos it looks in decent nick, are there any dents, marks or scratches on it at all including the screen?

– how long does the battery hold charge?

– does it come with box/charger?

-does it have webcam/hdmi out?

– how many usb ports does it have?

– Any issues with keyboard or any of the keys?

– will it come with windows installed?

– it’ll mainly be used for streaming video/internet browsing, word processing and uploading videos/vlogging, would it struggle with any of those tasks in your opinion?

I think thats about it! Apologies for the questions but not very computer savvy so my apologies if I;’ve asked any very obvious questions.

Thanks

Saf