New product announcements at VeeamON secondary to new vision statement

The major announcement was Veam DataLabs, which is an upgraded version of the old Veeam Virtual Labs repositioned to serve broader use cases. In that sense, this product announcement also fits into the articulation of the broader vision which is what this year’s VeeamON was all about.

CHICAGO – Vision was the big thing at the 2018 VeeamON event here. The company outlined, in some detail, its strategy for getting from its historic availability position to the hyper-availability of the very near future, which will feature a much greater degree of automation than today. New product announcements this year were very much on the back-burner. The highlight here was Veeam DataLabs, which is not a new product at all, but a rebadged one that is being repurposed to serve a much broader variety of use cases than it has in the past.

“Veeam DataLabs  is based on a technology we have had for a while – Veaam Virtual Labs,” said  Jeff Crum, Director of Product Marketing at Veeam, “We used to talk about it in terms of backup and recovery scenarios, such as the ability to take a copy of a production environment and do things with it, like recovery verifications. There are a lot more things that people can be doing with it, however.”

“We are trying to elevate it by bringing more attention to it, which is why we are rebranding it, and giving it emphasis at VeeamON,” said John Metzger, VP of Product Marketing at Veeam. “It has been in the product for at least five years. But we see it as having critical importance to enterprises, which is another reason we want to give it more emphasis.”

The original functionality of Veeam Virtual Labs was a form of copy data management, which let organizations easily create new instances of their production environments on-demand.  Veeam DataLabs allows the core components of backup and replication to be used for broader use cases that provide more enterprise value, rather than just being an insurance policy. This includes DevTest, DevOps, and DevSecOps, security and forensics testing, and on-demand sandboxes for IT operations.

Those extra use cases provide more ammunition for channel partners.

“It’s a way to pitch additional value-add that goes beyond standard backup and recovery,” Crum said. “It’s nice to be able to sell the latest and greatest backup tool, but it’s even nicer to be able to apply it to these kinds of DevOps or forensics use cases, because many customers will see additional value in that.”

Veeam DataLabs’ greater stature and visibility will also lead to significant future enhancements, Crum added.

“Capabilities specific to GDPR are a logical extension here,” he said. “These would likely be introduced when we get closer to the next release of Veeam Backup and Replication.”

Crum also emphasized that Veeam DataLabs’s broader functionality is a much more appropriate fit with the broader hyper-availability vision Veeam stressed at this year’s conference.

“It’s all now about the vision, and about the platform,” he said. “A lot of the industry still associates us with virtual server backup. But there’s so much broader opportunity on the platform with the agents now available, which includes things like the 2.0 version of our Office 365 backup, which is in beta now. We want the channel to realize this, that we are not just a server point product any more. We are a total platform offering.”

Metzger said that while VeeamON this year was all about articulating the vision, the remaining parts of that vision which are not tangible product today will soon be fleshed out on their roadmap.

“A big part of this was the visionary statement, and showing where we are headed,” he indicated. “Many elements of the capability are there now, but we will be clear about our roadmap in detailing the additional vision from an automation standpoint.”

“This doesn’t mean that we are done with backup, even though it is just the first stage of the five stage vision,” said  Jim Kruger, SVP of Product Marketing at Veeam. “We will continue to improve that, and we will continue to add value from Stage One through Stage Five.”