Veeam adds new Cloud Tier, enhances Cloud Mobility and DataLabs in new Availability Suite release

In addition to the flood of news around Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4, Veeam also announced Veeam Availability for AWS, Veeam Availability Console V3, and a new licensing option with one license for any workload.

At their Velocity 2019 sales kickoff event in Orlando today, data protection vendor Veeam made several major product news announcements. They announced general availability of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4. It adds a new Cloud Tier that adds an object storage capability, introduces AWS and Azure Stack support for Veeam Cloud Mobility, and enhances Veeam DataLabs with new compliance and anti-ransomware capabilities. Veeam also announced Veeam Availability for AWS, which brings their N2WS technology into their core offering, an improved Veeam Availability Console v3 that adds a new tier for MSPs and VARs, and a new licensing option.

“All this comes on the back of a decade of leading in the data management space,” said Danny Allan, Veeam’s VP of Product. “This is about cloud. We have expanded beyond virtual workloads. Now our focus is very much on cloud and enabling customers to use it efficiently. This is about expanding our leadership in the cloud data management space, by adding new capabilities.

“This 9.5. update 4 release of the Veeam Availability Suite is the most exciting one since I joined the company,” Allan emphasized. “Veeam Cloud Tier leverages the cloud for near-limitless capacity. What we have done in this release is expanded the backup repository to include object storage. That usually involves the public cloud, but not always. Some larger customers have this capacity on-prem.” Veeam Cloud Tier provides native object storage integrations with Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, IBM Cloud Object Storage, S3-compatible service providers and on-premises storage solutions.

Allan indicated that he considered the most exciting part of the Cloud Tier to be the advantages Veeam gets by storing the data and the metadata differently.

“The way that we have implemented this is that we tiered data off to object storage, but keep the metadata on-prem,” he said. “That gives us a powerful capability. You don’t have to pull data back out of the cloud for synthetic full merges. We have a patent on capability of Instant VM recovery.”

Allan said that Cloud Tier is really the headline announcement out of the many news items here.

Danny Allan, Veeam’s VP of Product

“Cloud Tier is what most of our customers are excited about,” he said. “We also aren’t double-charging for it. You pay the cloud provider to put data in their cloud, but we don’t charge extra for the ability to put capacity in the public cloud.”

Another significant enhancement is to Veaam Cloud Mobility, which provides easy portability and recovery of both on-prem and cloud-based workloads.

“We enable this with two quick steps,” Allan said. “First, you indicate in what region do u want to turn it on, and secondly, you indicate what is the size of the instance. We have a wizard that makes it easy. What we have added with this release is Cloud Mobility support for  AWS and Azure Stack. We did do Azure before.”

Veeam DataLabs was also enhanced. Formerly Veeam Virtual Labs, it was rebranded at VeeamON last year as part of a new emphasis to go beyond its original function of making copies of production environments for insurance. The company now emphasizes its broader utility for DevTest, DevOps, and DevSecOps, security and forensics testing, and on-demand sandboxes for IT operations.

“Customers asked us for two enhancements to DataLabs,” Allan said. “They wanted the ability to provide compliance with GDPR, specifically the Right To Be Forgotten, so that backups don’t bring back things that have been deleted under its provisions.  It uses a script in the automated process of recovery to ensure regulatory compliance. That’s Staged Restore.”

Secure Restore, the other new capability, is targeted at ransomware.

“A lot of the recent variants of ransomware are dormant and activated by command and control,” Allan said. “As a result, when you do a recovery, the same malicious attack takes place again. Secure Restore scans backups with a patent-pending anti-virus interface that uses ESET, Symantec and Microsoft Defender. It also lets you restore into an isolated environment. We believe that this will be game-changing on ransomware.”

Intelligent Diagnostics, which reduces management and support costs through proactive resolution of configuration problems, has also been beefed up in this release.

“Intelligent Diagnostics takes the machine learning aspect of the IT environment out to the customer premises,” Allan said. “We have added in information about the context of the environment that our monitoring software reports to the end user, and they can choose to completely automate it or approve remediations. It’s not a ‘phone home’ mechanism where data goes to a third party. It learns about the context of the environment and gives information it. It’s the first step of democratizing environment, without a phone home-type model.”

Other 9.5 release 4 improvements include new service provider capabilities, and reporting enhancements.

Veeam has over 20,000 Cloud Service Provider partners, and for them,  a new integration between Veeam Cloud Connect Replication and VMware vCloud Director lets VMware users build easily build a Disaster Recovery as a Service [DRaaS] solution.

“The reporting enhancements revamped the Business View, which groups systems together from a business perspective like ecommerce,” Allan said. “We have revamped all our reporting, DR and analysis tools for a more business-centric perspective.”

In addition to the 9.5 r4 enhancements, Veeam made several other announcements.

“Veeam Availability for AWS  is a completely new products based on our acquisition a year ago of N2WS, which provides cloud-native backup for AWS,” Allan indicated. “We have now taken that technology and integrated it into the Veeam platform to provide single pane of glass management. We also added the ability to decouple backups from the AWS EC2 infrastructure and store it in AWS S3 object storage or on-prem, which results in a 40 per cent cost savings.”

N2WS isn’t going anywhere, and Allan said that it will still appeal to customers who are 100 per cent cloud native.

“For customers who are hybrid, which is the majority, Veeam Availability for AWS should be a very exciting integration,” he stated.

Veeam Availability Console v3 makes the console provided for CSPs and MSPs more effective. The big change is the addition of a third tier for VARs and MSPs, adding to the SP and customer tiers that were there before.

“That tier can now add a managed service provider tier to the console, to give MSPs the right level of access,” Allan said. RESTful API support for the Console has also been expanded, and the architecture’s scalability has been improved.

Finally, Veeam has announced a new licensing option.

“This is an industry first – one license for any workload,” Allan stated. “It allows for portability and mobility across any infrastructure, but also allows it across any workload. This gives the customer the advantage of not locking in to any given infrastructure. It very much aligns to our objective to be easy to use, and very flexible. I’m not aware of anyone else who does this in our space.”

Licenses are moved automatically when workloads are moved between platforms. Veeam manages and monitors the workload licensing.

“This is also just an option,” Allan added. “We still have the perpetual licenses.”