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Own targets SaaS backup and offers analytics insight

Targeting a growing market – SaaS applications that lack backup – Own offers backup, fine-grained restores and analytics on data stores that can bring business insight

Cloud-based SaaS applications don’t have backup built-in, so third-party products have to fill that gap. Also, customers often never really gain the full benefit of information locked into software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that could provide insights of value to the customer.

That’s the view of Own, which provides backup and restore – with very fine levels of granularity, down to fields within a file – plus value-add analytics for data created in SaaS applications.

Own’s mission, according to its director of marketing intelligence Graham Russell, is to protect mission-critical data in SaaS applications, which often present limitations and challenges, while also adding value by giving enhanced access to SaaS data.

Own is one of a number of SaaS – or cloud-to-cloud backup – products and services that have arisen to fill the gap left by cloud providers not offering real backup natively for SaaS apps.

Own claims 6,700 customers, and offers backup, restore and some value-added analytics capabilities in Salesforce.com, ServiceNow, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Applications.

Backup and recovery in SaaS is on a shared responsibility model,” said Russell. “The SaaS provider looks after the network and provides certain levels of availability, while the customer has the responsibility to protect data on the platform.

“Data loss and corruption is common in SaaS platforms, which can be the result of user error, bad code and corruption, or cyber attack,” said Russell, “with very significant effects on customer service, employee satisfaction, etc.

“So, what’s needed is to back up SaaS data, alert the customer to changes and restore effectively without having to restore everything – just what’s required, like the 50 corrupted fields, for example.”

“Backup and recovery in SaaS is on a shared responsibility model. The SaaS provider looks after the network and provides certain levels of availability, while the customer has the responsibility to protect data on the platform”
Graham Russell, Own Data

For example, Salesforce.com offers tools to export data, but they are limited. It can only happen weekly and data is exported in CSV format.

“The challenges are that once a week may not be frequent enough to prevent data loss, and to restore from CSV can take weeks,” said Russell.

Own’s Salesforce.com backups protect everything, which includes all data and files, but also metadata.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also has limitations in native SaaS form. “There are limited backup capabilities and not everything is protected,” said Russell. “Also, you have to restore entire records.”

Here, Own offers extreme granularity of restore, even down to individual fields in individual files. “Not the whole record or nothing,” said Russell.

Own also offers backup on demand and automated schema change alerts. So, when a new object or table is created, it is auto-detected and a backup is created. Smart Alerts in Own tell the customer when data has changed.

Archiving capabilities allow applications to run more effectively, said Russell, because data is offloaded from the live applications and can save money on capacity. In Own, data that is archived is still visible to users.

Own also offers value-added functionality such as Own Accelerate, which allows developers who need data for sandboxing applications to seed them, with data anonymised if needed.

“Ordinarily, it can be quite a slow and difficult process,” said Russell. “The customer can make copies of production data, anonymise it, set policies, etc.”

Coming soon is Own Discover, where customers can interrogate backed-up data, and feed it into business intelligence tools to produce time series analysis, artificial intelligence models, and so on.

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