Behind the scenes of the Barracuda Microsoft collaboration on Cloud-to-Cloud Backup
We’re excited to introduce the latest version of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup with a new platform that provides cost-effective, scalable backup and recovery for all your Microsoft Office 365 data, including Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint, and OneDrive.
To give you an inside look at how Barracuda and Microsoft teams collaborated on this innovative cloud-native solution, we sat down to talk with Nills Franssens, Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, to get his insights on the new version of Cloud-to-Cloud Backup and the teamwork that made it possible.
What do you think are some of the most common mistakes or misconceptions people have about backing up their Office 365 data?
I think one of the primary misconceptions about backing up Office 365 data is that all of that is automatically managed by Microsoft. There is some backup that Microsoft provides in Office 365, but, right now, that is only a 30-day backup after a file has been deleted or overwritten, which for some companies is not sufficient. That's why a solution like Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup was created and is used by so many companies. Companies need to do an evaluation on whether the default Microsoft backup policy is sufficient for their needs, which can be the case. But there are cases where that is not sufficient and you want to rely on a third-party solution, such as Cloud-to-Cloud Backup.
How does a cloud-native solution make a difference for backup and restore?
With a cloud-native solution, you get the benefit of unlimited scale on your backup, and your solution is fully managed. So unlike with traditional backup solutions, where you have to do capacity management and capacity planning and make sure you have enough storage, a cloud-native solution, like Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup really offers you a managed solution with virtually unlimited capacity to store your data.
How did Microsoft and Barracuda teams collaborate during the development of this version of Cloud-to-Cloud Backup?
That's actually a very interesting story. It began during a meeting in Redmond between engineering teams from Barracuda and Microsoft. That's where the idea to build the new version started. About three weeks later, we organized a joint hackathon between some Microsoft folks and Barracuda folks to hack together a minimum viable product of the new version. In about a week’s time with very close collaboration, we were able to demonstrate that this will work.
Since then, there's a number of things that we've done jointly. First, there's been continuous collaboration between myself and the different engineering teams at Barracuda to keep things on track, make sure that we offer you the right capabilities, and that Barracuda is using them in the right way.
There was also a dedicated software engineering team from Microsoft that worked with Barracuda over the course of a number of months to jointly engineer a number of core components of the solution: the way the new solution interacts with Office 365 and gets data out of Office 365, and how the data from the current version gets migrated into the new version. Those two elements were jointly engineered with engineers from Barracuda and engineers from Microsoft really working together as one team to deliver those functionalities.
How did that kind of collaboration help the process?
Where the collaboration really helped is in bridging the gap between the Barracuda team having really good product knowledge about the Cloud-to-Cloud Backup product, and the Microsoft team having really good knowledge of Microsoft solutions. By partnering this closely, we were able to tie together the product knowledge from Barracuda and the deep Azure and Office 365 knowledge from Microsoft and bake that into the product. That helps make a really good solution, and it also helped in accelerating some timelines.
What did you enjoy most about working with the team on this project?
What I enjoyed most is the openness and willingness to work with new technologies. If we think about the new Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, it's a solution that leverages some core product innovations in Azure as a platform. It's using the Azure Kubernetes service to run software on, and it's connecting to Blob storage to store the data. There are also some elements that are leveraging Cosmos database for database storage. The willingness from Barracuda to innovate and use solutions recommended by Microsoft has really been great. On a personal level, I really enjoyed working with the different teams. It really felt like we were one big team in a joint company rather than just Microsoft and Barracuda collaborating.
What are some of the more impactful features coming out in this new version of Cloud-to-Cloud Backup?
Something that will be really impactful for customers is the fact that the new version is leveraging all the latest APIs in Office 365 to get the data in the most optimized way. Although that's not a feature visible to customers, it helps tremendously with the performance of the solution. It makes sure that regardless of how much data you have that needs to be backed up, that all of it gets backed up in the most efficient and timely manner.