50 Innovators of the Year 2021
Backup and recovery are of paramount importance for the applications in the enterprise environment and yet, most enterprises think of backup as an afterthought and as an incremental feature. Others consider them to be either complicated or expensive. But it is possible to go beyond this perception with Cobalt Iron.
Founded in 2013, Cobalt Iron has transformed customers’ investments and experience by defining the modern approach to enterprise data protection through their simple, secure, automated software-defined solutions. The company’s Compass® Architecture is designed to take full advantage of progressive technologies such as analytics, SaaS, multi-cloud, and virtualization. The solution is appreciated and used by enterprises across industries.
One of the best measures of any technology’s success is its recognition in the wider industry. Cobalt Iron’s technology was recognized this February when DCIG named Compass as a TOP 3 Google Cloud Platform (GCP) backup solution for 2021 and proclaimed it a “highly distinguished player in the cloud backup market.” This follows three rankings last year from DCIG: the TOP 5 cloud backup solutions for Microsoft Azure, the TOP 5 for enterprise AWS, and the TOP 5 enterprise anti-ransomware backup solutions.
In a brief interview, Richard Spurlock, Founder and CEO of Cobalt Iron, talked to us about the company’s innovations so far and the bright future ahead. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
What inspired you to start Cobalt Iron?
Before founding Cobalt Iron, I had spent two decades consulting with enterprise teams at companies around the globe. As I worked with these companies on improving their infrastructure and mapping a path to success, it became clear that their problems went well beyond properly architecting and deploying products into operational solutions. And the products they were deploying were just complex.
We saw a market need for a solution that could address the repeated failures, high costs, and increasing complexity of enterprise backup. We saw the spiraling data growth and a growing requirement to protect data beyond basic backup and restore. We conceived a completely new platform built with complex enterprise environments in mind, one that would maximize technology to boost people’s productivity. Cobalt Iron Compass® was born out of our passionate focus on delivering this transformational product to the global enterprise backup market.
How do you address your customers’ pain points?
The Compass SaaS backup solution uniquely addresses customers’ challenges as the industry’s first enterprise-class data protection and analytics software designed to run natively on premises or in hybrid and public cloud environments. With Compass, enterprises are able to eliminate complexity, dramatically reduce the time their IT teams spend on backup, protect against ransomware, and significantly improve data protection performance. Compass harnesses analytics and automation to drive out cost and complexity while delivering reliable protection and valuable data insights to the business. The result is a comprehensive data protection solution that is flexible, manageable, reliable, and affordable.
What is your typical client profile and what size/type of customer environment is Cobalt Iron Compass particularly well-suited for?
We bring enterprise-class data protection to customers of all sizes – that’s the beauty of our platform. While Compass can scale from very small to very large environments, it is optimized for enterprise-scale backup and data protection challenges. For most of these organizations, data backup is the single largest application running in their data center.
Typically, these companies rely on multiple backup solutions to meet the needs of individual business units, resulting in high administrative overhead and less-than-stellar data protection outcomes. Often, companies become overwhelmed by the operational and management complexities of their legacy backup systems and the constantly changing technology environment. As a result, the backup function often become stale, under-invested, and fragile, leading to increased failures and uncertain recovery.
Cobalt’s platform, Compass, scales from terabytes to exabytes and provides the simplicity not found in backup technologies and tools today. How do you interpret this further?
Compass is indeed designed to scale to any-sized backup environment, but in a solution that is easy to deploy, manage, and operate. Since Compass is delivered as Software-as-a-Service, customers pay only for what they need – and the solution offers flexible deployment options including on-premises, private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid. Customers are able to manage the entire backup environment through Commander, the easy-to-use web dashboard of Compass that offers a simple and intuitive user interface. At the same time, the Compass Analytics Engine delivers the automation and insight companies need for comprehensive and effective data protection. Through these elements, Compass is the first and only solution built from the ground up to address the complexity of enterprise environments with a solution focused on delivering successful outcomes with simplicity.
What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?
Through the ongoing development of Compass, Cobalt Iron is continually innovating and pushing the boundaries for enterprise backup technology. In one recent example, Cobalt Iron has just been granted a U.S. patent for new capabilities in Compass that enable automatic and dynamic adjustment to data collection activities in response to a detected event or condition. The patent addresses a large and unmet requirement for comprehensive data collection and effective monitoring in the enterprise backup world. A significant milestone for Compass, this patent extends Cobalt Iron’s technology leadership in advanced, analytics-based optimizations of enterprise backup and IT operations.
The Visionary Leader
Richard Spurlock, Founder and CEO
An intellectually curious entrepreneur, Richard is recognized as a global expert on data protection and recovery. After spending 15 years designing and delivering the world’s largest data protection applications, Richard harnessed that expertise to build a disruptive, software-defined data protection solution: Compass. An experienced speaker and subject matter expert, Richard is a frequent industry spokesman and an avid Formula 1 racing fan.