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Rewind extends SaaS data backup and recovery to Trello

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Rewind extends SaaS data backup and recovery to Trello

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Team communication and collaboration software revealed its true worth over the past 12 months, as businesses across the spectrum rapidly transitioned to remote work. From Zoom to Slack and beyond, companies that weren’t already all-in on the digital workforce were given little choice — it was either sink or swim.

However, with cloud spending going through the roof in 2020, a trend that’s set to continue in 2021 and beyond, this opens a Pandora’s box of questions for businesses embracing the giant hard-drive in the sky — how safe is all their data? Privacy issues aside, companies that entrust all their mission-critical information to third-party SaaS companies and clouds need a backup plan if disaster strikes.

A recent cloud threat report published by Oracle and KPMG found that 75% of organizations in the study had experienced data loss from a cloud service on more than a single occasion. And this is something that Canadian company Rewind is setting out to solve with automated data backup and recovery services for many of the popular SaaS tools of today.

Hello Trello

Up until now, Rewind offered data backup and recovery for Shopify, BigCommerce, Intuit QuickBooks, and — as of two months ago — GitHub. Today, the company is extending support to Trello, the popular team collaboration and project management platform operated by Atlassian.

Above: Rewind: Trello backups

It’s worth noting that most SaaS platforms offer their own disaster recovery tools for when a systemwide catastrophe occurs, so if a fire rips through one of their datacenters they can restore all the accounts to their former state from an alternative (backup) datacenter. But this doesn’t work at an individual account level, and the SaaS company typically doesn’t enable customers to recover individual data specific to them on-demand.

This is what is widely known as a “shared responsibility” model, where the platform owner (e.g. Trello or GitHub) is responsible for infrastructure-level security and disaster recovery, and the customer is responsible for managing password security, permissions, and backing up all the data in their account.

There are various existing methods open to Trello users looking to create backups for their data, such as setting reminders to capture screenshots of boards, exporting JSON or CSV files, or manually creating copies of project boards. Ignoring the significant time and resource drain this creates for companies, the process of restoring the data in these scenarios doesn’t bear thinking about.

“The main issue with these types of manual backups is the inability to easily restore data,” Rewind CEO and cofounder Mike Potter told VentureBeat. “Manually backing up data means manually restoring it, which tends to be a slow and tedious process. Manual backups are also frequently forgotten and left out-of-date.”

And that, essentially, is the role that Rewind fulfills. It not only creates and stores automated backups of each customers’ Trello instance, it restores it all to its former glory with the click of a button.

The integration is available via Trello’s Power-Up marketplace, and it requires no real technical prowess — the full backup and recovery service is accessible via a browser.

Rewind Trello Backups Advanced Restore

Above: Rewind: Trello backups, advanced restore

Moreover, Rewind backs up individual items of data and all their dependencies and relationships. This includes each Trello board, as well as all the cards (tasks or ideas), lists (collection of cards), labels, custom fields, checklists, and attachments on that board.

At launch, however, users can only back up their boards and all the associated entities as a whole package. In the near future, users will also be able to choose on a more granular level, so they can just back up specific cards, lists, or attachments, for example.

Native state

This all leads us to one lingering question. Why don’t SaaS companies offer such account-level backup services natively? This would surely be a huge selling point, particularly for enterprise clients.

“While backups might seem like basic functionality, the fact is that building and continuously supporting a full-featured, scalable backup and restore solution presents non-trivial technical and usability challenges that tend to lie outside the core capabilities of commonly used SaaS platforms,” Potter hypothesized.

Moreover, it’s good practice to house backups away from the host platform. This isn’t purely for reasons related to natural disasters — how do you access your Trello backup if, for example, you’re locked out of your Trello account?

“A true backup gives you full access to your data at all times,” Potter said. “Best practices for data security and business continuity call for the 3-2-1 backup method — three total copies of your data, two of which are local but on different mediums or devices, and at least one copy off-site.”

This latest launch comes just a few months after Rewind raised its first notable outside funding, securing $15 million in a series A round led by Inovia Capital. In the future, Rewind said that it plans to extend support to other popular SaaS tools such as Jira, GitLab, Xero, Bitbucket, and Zendesk.

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Former Blizzard and Epic veterans raise $5M for Lightforge Games

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Former Blizzard and Epic veterans raise $5M for Lightforge Games

Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


When game companies become successful, they tend to breed offspring. That’s the case with veterans of Blizzard Entertainment and Epic Games, who have raised $5 million to open a new studio called Lightforge Games.

The new studio is based near Epic Games in Raleigh, North Carolina, and its quest is to change how role-playing games are made. The team is developing a new cross-platform, social video game where players have the power to create worlds and tell stories with freedom.

CEO Matt Schembari said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company is hiring people for remote jobs.

“Our blended DNA from both Blizzard and Epic extends to the entire studio at this point,” Schembari said. “About a year ago, a bunch of us got together and have been operating quietly, building up the company and our early game prototypes. We’re testing and validating crazy game ideas that we have been coming up with.”

While he isn’t talking about the game yet, Schembari said the game will be highly social and creative and it will run across multiple platforms.

“We love experiences where players can come together and build worlds together, create stories together, tell stories together, where they’re able to have this kind of emergent gameplay. Telling stories together is really the part that we’re most focused on,” he said. “We really believe that there’s no barrier between creation and play. It’s not user-generated content in the classic sense of you create something and then you publish it and people can download it. It’s a different kind of model than just UGC.”

The funding came from Galaxy Interactive, NetEase Games, Dreamhaven, Maveron, 1UP Ventures, and angel investors from the gaming and tech industries.

One of the surprises is that Dreamhaven is another game startup itself, started by former Blizzard president Mike Morhaime and Amy Morhaime. In a statement, Mike Morhaime said that Lightforge is creating a game in a space with a lot of potential and he is excited about the team’s vision.

Above: Lightforge’s team

Image Credit: Lightforge

Schembari has 20 years of experience and he shipped games played by millions as former lead engineer at Blizzard and director of user interface at Epic Games, where he led the Fortnite platform team.

Other founders include Dan Hertzka, Nathan Fairbanks, Glenn Rane, and Marc Hutcheson. Hertzka is engineering director and he led a team at Fortnite that added the client social layer to the battle royale game. Fairbanks has been games for 13 years and has worked on titles such as Fortnite, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Elder Scrolls Online. He is serving as studio director. Rane is art director and he has worked on World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo Immortal. Hutcheson is product director and he has 18 years of experience in marketing and publishing games such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, Diablo III, Fortnite, and Hearthstone.

Lightforge has a total of 11 people and is on the verge of hiring three more. The team brings decades of experience from Epic, Blizzard, Riot, Bioware, and Zenimax Online and have shipped top games such as Fortnite, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hearthstone, the StarCraft 2 trilogy, Overwatch, Elder Scrolls Online, and more.

Lightforge is an all-remote studio where employees can work and live nearly anywhere. Schembari said that his startup received multiple offers and went with Galaxy Interactive as the lead investor because of their understanding about games and online communities.

“We are all remote and have been since the very beginning and this is something that was really important to us,” Schembari said. “One of our values is to really think about embracing empathy with everything we do. And, in particular, in the case of being all remote. We’ve all lived the experience that one of the most disruptive things you can do to someone’s life is to ask them to relocate for a job. And that was something that we really just strongly didn’t want to do. We are now at a point both technologically and culturally where you can totally work remotely.”

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Amazon’s SaaS Boost tool addresses dev challenges

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AWS SaaS Boost

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Amazon today open-sourced Amazon Web Services (AWS) SaaS Boost, an open source tool that helps software developers migrate their existing solutions to software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models. Amazon says that SaaS Boost — which launched in preview at AWS Re:Invent 2020 — has the potential to offload development efforts by supporting app transformations to SaaS, freeing up developers to focus on other aspects.

SaaS apps are constantly evolving. Many of them use industry-standard protocols and interface with other products, but they all need certain foundational capabilities to onboard users, provision infrastructure, and surface key metrics. These functions are critical for enabling SaaS providers to scale. However, if every company invested in building these capabilities, it’d take resources — slowing down the time to market.

To address this challenge, AWS SaaS Boost provides functionality including tenant isolation, data partitioning, monitoring, metering, and billing. According to Amazon, the focus is on creating an environment that brings together all the elements of a ready-to-use SaaS architecture, removing much of the heavy lifting commonly associated with migrating a solution to a SaaS model.

Unifying data across disparate sources is one key feature in AWS SaaS Boost. Between 60% and 73% of all data within corporations is never analyzed for insights or larger trends, a Forrester survey found. The opportunity cost of this unused data is substantial, with a Veritas report pegging it at $3.3 trillion by 2020. That’s perhaps why organizations have taken an interest in technologies like AWS SaaS Boost that help to ingest, understand, organize, share, and act on data from multiple environments.

Data challenges

According to Gartner, creating a‌n architecture‌ ‌that helps‌ ‌operationalize data‌ ‌pipelines‌ ‌is one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌major‌ ‌trends‌ ‌for‌ ‌2021. Organizations want to make better use of their data, but most lack a mature strategy. Indeed, surveys show that data’s business impact is limited by challenges in lifecycle management.

Recognizing this, Amazon designed AWS SaaS Boost to be adaptable to the needs of individual projects and organizations. The management and core services of SaaS Boost were built using a serverless application model, with a dashboard where users can configure the ports, domains, compute settings, databases, file systems, and billing options unique to their apps.

New tenants are introduced to the AWS SaaS Boost environment through an onboarding process that collects a tenant’s configuration options and launches an automation. From there, AWS SaaS Boost provisions tenants with separate subdomains that are used to route them to their architectures. The specific resources that apps will need are set up automatically, so that when new versions of the apps are uploaded, SaaS Boost can deploy the updates to all tenants.

Above: A portion of the SaaS Boost onboarding process.

Image Credit: Amazon

On the analytics side, SaaS Boost includes a collection of tenant-focused graphs that can be used to analyze trends. Beyond this, the tool enables integration with preprovisioned infrastructure that can aggregate and surface custom metrics views.

In a blog post, AWS worldwide partner solution architecture Adrian De Luca said that the goal is to “build a vibrant community of developers using AWS SaaS Boost” for production workloads. “We’d like to [encourage] contributors [to donate] code to enhance and optimize … features. As the project matures, we plan to invite other maintainers to take active roles in determining the project’s direction,” he wrote. “Throughout the preview period with developers all over the world, we received interest from large industry-leading software companies who want to offer their traditional products in an easier way, startups who want to build new products with it, and systems integrators modernizing enterprise software on behalf of customers.”

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  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
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Hidden Leaf Games raises $3.2 million on a MOBA gambit called Fangs

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Hidden Leaf Games is making a 3v3 MOBA.

Hidden Leaf Games is making a three-vs.-three multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game called Fangs. They have raised $3.2 million.Read More3P8UNcLPZCo

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