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A handful of backup vendors have earned Amazon's seal of approval for AWS Outposts.
Commvault, Veritas, Cohesity, Clumio and Rubrik are among the list of data protection and management vendors who have earned the AWS Outposts Ready designation. That means their products have been tested and validated by Amazon to work on AWS Outposts deployments. Customers looking to protect their data on AWS Outposts can turn to Outposts Ready vendors, which guarantees troubleshooting support and clear deployment documentation.
AWS Outposts is a way for customers to bring a slice of AWS on premises. With Outposts, Amazon ships pre-integrated hardware and software infrastructure to customers' data centers so they can essentially have an AWS region running locally. Although AWS Outposts resides in enterprises' data centers, it is completely managed by Amazon. AWS personnel are responsible for performing on-site maintenance and troubleshooting problems. Outposts became generally available in December 2019.
For some customers, AWS Outposts is the only way they can use AWS services for latency-sensitive use cases or for use cases in which certain applications or data must stay on-premises for compliance reasons. In these cases, protecting that data is crucial, because it's all business-critical, said John Webster, senior partner and analyst at Evaluator Group. Retail stores at remote locations, healthcare organizations and financial institutions are examples Webster suggested in which AWS Outposts deployments might be used. In those situations, transferring data to the AWS public cloud is not a viable option.
"Data protection becomes a critical aspect of Outposts, particularly so if the user begins to run production applications on Outposts. Because Outposts are based on AWS infrastructure and management, it is critical for third-party data protection vendors to be validated by AWS," Webster said.
There's a confidence-building element to AWS Outposts Ready certification as well, said Mercer Rowe, vice president of global partner organization at Commvault. Rowe said customers want to know that their vendors' products are supported on their cloud of choice. Organizations want to know the data protection products they already use on the AWS cloud also works with AWS on-premises implementations.
Rowe said this has become especially important in the COVID-19 era, as more organizations must adopt cloud infrastructure to make up for restricted access to their physical data centers. Companies have to figure out how to turn the cloud into a stable, long-term part of their IT infrastructure rather than just a temporary failover site or an archive. After standardizing to their public cloud of choice, customers have to figure out how to handle applications that must run on-premises.
Wendy Bahr, chief commercial officer at Rubrik, said customers are still forming cloud strategies and determining the best places to store their data. AWS Outposts can provide options on where applications and data reside. Bahr said supporting Outposts is a natural fit for Rubrik because customers still need data protection. She added that Rubrik's data protection license is portable to Outposts, so customers won't need separate licenses to protect AWS cloud and AWS on-premises deployments. Commvault similarly does not need a separate license to protect Outposts.
Amazon last week released a list of 34 partners that have completed validations including storage, networking and security companies. Notable omissions from the list include backup software vendors Dell EMC, IBM and Veeam.
Rowe and Bahr said Amazon has worked with them to validate their backup products since the AWS Outposts launch. Rowe said the tests were run by Amazon, in Amazon labs using Amazon equipment. Amazon had set up disaster recovery scenarios, tested products on hybrid deployments and across multiple AWS Outposts and AWS Availability Zones.