Veeam advances strategic vision from availability to hyperavailability at VeeamON

Veeam’s main announcement at this year’s VeeamON event is advancing their core branding, to keep up with customer expectations by providing fully automated data management as part of an availability strategy.

Danny Allan, Veeam’s VP of Product Strategy, onstage at VeeamON, in the kind of dream picture to which every speaker aspires

CHICAGO – Backup is boring. That’s always been a part of Veeam’s core messaging, and one of the reasons they have branded themselves as an availability vendor for years – ensuring that customer availability is always on. At this year’s VeeamON  event, however, Veeam articulated a new strategic vision, what they call hyper-availability, which they say will dramatically reshape the enterprise environment to meet today’s customer expectations.

“Hyper-availability is the new expectation for data in today’s enterprise,” said Peter McKay, Veeam’s co-CEO. “Data must move to a new state of intelligence, able to automatically anticipate and meet the needs of our customers today.”

So what exactly is hyper-availability, and why is it something more than just marketing razzmatazz?

“We are at an inflexion point in our industry where the whole industry is going through a transformation, said Danny Allan, Veeam’s VP of Product Strategy.  “Our objective is to be the most trusted provider of intelligent data management because of our belief that technology combining automation and AI will drive disruptive innovation in the next decade. Hyper-availability ties in AI to meet demand and allow data to move fluidly across the environment, and not wind up in a silo. It also involves driving more insights and better intelligence for the organization.”

Allan identified what Veeam considers to be the core components of hyper-availability.

“We think that three components are really important to understand,” Allan said in his keynote. “The first is that data can automatically sense and react to the needs of the business. The second is that the data can automatically move across the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environment. The third is that it gives insights to the business to do something – or not to do something.”

Hyper-availability is thus all about intelligent data management, and Allan said that most customers are still in the very early stages of this journey.

“There are five stages of intelligent data management, and most customers are still in Stage One  – backup,” he stressed. “Few organizations have even implemented a 3-2-1 backup strategy properly –  three copies of data, on at least two different storage types, with one copy offsite.”

Allan said that leading enterprises are moving into Stage Two – aggregation.

“That’s the aggregation of data protection – not the aggregation of all sources of data, which will be all over the place,” he indicated. “The struggle is really bringing in two forms of data – cloud hosted data [IaaS] and SaaS data.”

The third stage is visibility, and the fourth is orchestration.

“I think that Stage Four is the most interesting, where you move data to the best location for business continuity, compliance and security,” Allan said. “My belief is this will be the focus of the industry over the next year.”

The final stage, Automation, involves a rethinking of what innovation in the industry is all about.

“Innovation has been about capturing lower and lower RPOs,” Allan said. “It was about driving down times, not driving better outcomes. Data becomes self-managing by learning to back up and migrate to ideal locations, and to secure itself during anomalous activity, and recover instantaneously.”

Allan stressed that hyper-availability doesn’t involve de-emphasizing core backup and replication, any more than it does de-emphasizing the SMB or midmarket.

“We are not moving away from backup and recovery and replication,” he told the conference audience. “Those are the cornerstone of this platform. What we are talking about is how we can do more exciting and iterative things around them.”

Veeam’s strategic partners are a key way of accomplishing this

“Are we going to do intrusion detection – unlikely,” Allan said. “Are we going to start doing image recognition – probably not. We are developing some exciting things around intelligent automation internal to our platform, but our partners are important because they give us the intelligent automation to drive better business outcomes.”

Veeam has accelerated the pace of new strategic alliances as a result.

“If you go back about five years, we added about one partner a year,” Allan said. “Now we add a new one every couple of months – both accelerated integrations and also application integrations.”

It all adds up to an exciting future.

“With the move from availability to hyper-availability, the world we are in today has gone from a boring backup market to exciting mission-critical,” McKay said.