Scale Computing woos public sector with hardened backup

Scale Computing gave its public sector prospects a way to lock down and air hole their most delicate details.

Last week, Scale Computing partnered with Acronis SCS and started off giving Cyber Backup 12.5 Hardened Edition on Scale’s HC3 platform. HC3 now has the exact same API-degree integration with Acronis SCS’s details protection as it does with frequent Acronis backup. Hardened Edition is exclusively aimed at air gapped techniques with no online link, these kinds of as government weapons testing web-sites and public utility regulate facilities. It is on the U.S. Division of Defense Facts Network Accredited Merchandise Checklist.

Scale Computing is a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) vendor together the exact same traces as Nutanix, Dell EMC VxRail, Hewlett Packard Company SimpliVity, Cisco HyperFlex and Pivot3 Acuity. It has been offered Acronis backup by way of a partnership considering the fact that 2011. In September 2019, the two entered an OEM offer in which Acronis backup built-in with Scale’s HC3 platform, natively interfacing with its snapshot mechanisms. By extending this marriage to Acronis SCS, Scale can now deal with the desires of its public sector prospects, which have noticed greater details protection need due to amplified ransomware assaults. With prospects these kinds of as Illinois-based mostly Paris Community Hospital and Texas-based mostly Harlingen Waterworks Technique, the public sector would make up one particular of Scale’s best a few verticals.

Acronis SCS is an impartial American firm different from Acronis proper. It was incorporated in 2018 and formally launched in April 2019 exclusively to develop and promote Acronis backup to the U.S. public sector. As these kinds of, it does not share details, code or other sources with Acronis, all of its workers are U.S. citizens and all of its products are validated by U.S. third-get together agencies. Acronis Cyber Backup 12.5 Hardened Edition is its Division of Defense-approved backup product aimed at federal government agencies and utilities. Acronis SCS is led by CEO John Zanni.

Alan Conboy, place of work of the CTO at Scale Computing, explained ransomware assaults against public sector entities are growing. With a lot more workers doing the job remotely due to COVID-19, cyberattacks have amplified due to freshly uncovered vulnerabilities. Conboy explained the public sector is open to attack for lots of good reasons, most of them centered all-around budgetary constraints. He advised hospitals and utilities do not usually have the resources to use the most up-to-date in details protection technologies, nor can they spend enough to entice best-degree IT expertise.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Company Approach Team (ESG), explained the Scale-Acronis SCS partnership is timely. You will find no issue that ransomware assaults have amplified, and this lets Scale Computing provide details protection to organizations with stringent necessities on the IT products they can deploy. He added that the combination of Scale’s HCI and Acronis SCS’s hardened backup is properly-suited for decentralized organizations with very little IT presence or experience at every single individual website.

“It is really an successful combination,” Bertrand explained of the HC3 platform and Acronis SCS backup. “I think it will develop fascinating opposition in this house.”


Conboy explained HCI adoption amplified together with the surge in remote do the job. He explained it can be mainly owed to amplified need for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is one particular of the major use circumstances for HCI. Lots of organizations turned to VDI to securely help a substantial-scale, at-property workforce. Due to the fact this process turns on-premises desktops into browser periods, the endpoint device accessing it — together with any vulnerabilities it may have — do not make a difference.

A further process for supporting remote users is to give them all firm laptops and have them log in by way of a VPN. Conboy explained this process extends a pristine corporate network into vulnerable property networks. He observed that ransomware has started off focusing on VPN vendors and property networks due to the fact criminals could most likely use these to acquire obtain to corporate networks.

“That is accurately the improper way to do it. You do not want to force your network out you want to pull your finish users in,” Conboy explained.

Mark Bowker, senior analyst at ESG, agreed, with caveats. He explained VDI is the way to go, but it would’ve been challenging for businesses that haven’t laid any VDI groundwork to all of a sudden deploy it at scale at the begin of mandated lockdown. Even businesses that had been invested in VDI mainly only did so at a small scale, possibly to help a handful of remote staff or to offer community DR. Before COVID-19, there was no motive for organizations to believe that their remote workforce would expand, so most of them failed to have the potential in spot for substantial-scale VDI.

“The trouble was a ton of executives before COVID had been reluctant about remote do the job even while they experienced the technologies for it. No one ready for this on a worldwide scale,” Bowker explained.

Right after lockdown, businesses went into what Bowker called, “response manner.” This intended businesses employed what they experienced on hand, and in most circumstances, that was VPN. Bowker’s analysis observed that in the quick aftermath of mandated lockdown, fifty four% of respondents explained they first experienced to log in by way of a VPN to do the job remotely. Only twenty% explained they worked by way of VDI.

Bowker explained VPN isn’t going to scale properly and opens up attack surfaces for lousy actors, but the technologies is proven and has been all-around for a lot more than two decades. He was not surprised that most businesses turned to it for remote do the job. Even so, he explained the change to VDI is now happening. 5 months into lockdown, businesses are noticing the restrictions of VPN and investing in VDI and desktop-as-a-service offerings these kinds of as Amazon WorkSpaces.

“VDI technologies functions, but it just under no circumstances experienced executive help. VPN was originally enough for their volume of remote staff, so they failed to touch it,” Bowker explained.