Veeam sees perfect storm in convergence of design philosophy, market opportunity and new solutions

Updates were announced for Veeam Backup for Office 365, Veeam Backup for AWS and Veeam Availability Orchestrator and a sneak preview was given for Veeam Availability Suite v11, including something about Macs.

Veeam Backup for Office 365 v5

On Thursday, the second day of Veeam’s VeeamON event, Danny Allan, Veeam’s CTO and VP of Product Strategy, took the virtual stage in the technology general session to announce Veeam’s latest product releases. He did that, however in a context which emphasized how Veeam’s technology is well suited both to address the (hopefully) short-term market conditions created by the coronavirus, and the longer-term iteration of their cloud data management strategy.

Allan referred to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s recent comment that the pandemic had brought about two years of digital transformation in the last two months, and emphasized how Veeam’s technology positioned the company well to take advantage of this trend.

“We’ve been doing very well, even in the pandemic,” Allan stated. “Remote has huge implications for Veeam’s customers. The huge move to accelerating remote applications for most companies has been good for us because our software is remotely enabled,”

Allan related this to Veeam’s traditional emphasis on both data portability and the reuse of data in their design philosophy.

“We live in a world where data has to be portable,” he said. “That is one of the things that set Veeam apart from the very inception of Veeam. Our differentiation around data portability compared to other vendors in the space means that we can move data around and inspect it. We need data to be portable to move it to new locations to do inspection. We didn’t build our system specifically to be portable. It was purely for reliability, so we could always get that data back, but the portability was a side effect.”

The other design element which has become even more important than ever is the reuse of data.

“We want to take the data that we have and reuse it for purposes that are not just backup and replication,” Allan said. “After we package data and move it around, we want to reuse it multiple times. Backup remains the primary duty, but we can reuse copies of the data, and this product reuse is something we believe will be critical We as an industry now are only just beginning to understand the full potential of this.”

Allan said that Veeam’s 100% channel strategy further assists their ability to reuse data.

“It is hard for most organizations to know how to use data effectively, and how to reuse data,” he noted. “We are 100% channel, and our system integrator and cloud service provider partners do have that subject matter expertise. Most companies wouldn’t have something like expertise in machine learning to open a backup to look for images that weren’t safe for work. But our partners do have that. That’s why unleashing data requires that portability for third parties.”

Most software companies have reoriented their software development around a faster and more iterative process, and Veeam is no exception here. Allan emphasized that Veeam’s overall software innovation strategy, and the new product announcements specifically, reflect this.

“We were always very agile in responding to customer requests, but we would do one major release a year,” he said. “So far this year we have done six releases [of their flagship Availability Suite] and we have 10 or 12 more coming.”

Allan also related this to Veeam Backup for Office 365 v5, which he announced.

“This is version 5, and it didn’t exist three years ago,” he said. “We are iterating even more quickly than ever before, with a faster release cadence.”

Allan noted that while Veeam Backup for Office 365 was first launched to protect Exchange, and has expanded since with support for SharePoint and OneDrive, and the ability to send data direct to object storage, he said Version 5 really breaks new ground.

“Version 5 is really exciting because it brings in two critical capabilities,” he said. “One is the secure authentication needed for the world of today, making sure we support the most modern authentication capabilities. The second, Microsoft Teams backup, is the really critical thing here. We could protect it previously because its base is SharePoint and OneDrive, but now we have added the ability to recover Teams at granular level, and we have made Teams Backup simple. This is important today when we are all working from home. Teams holds more intellectual property than ever before, so we put a focus on protecting that.”

Veeam Backup for Office 365 v5 is scheduled to be available in Q3.

Allan also announced Veeam Backup for AWS v2.

“We launched Backup for AWS Version 1 in December 2019, and are already on Version 2,” he indicated. Version 2 adds snapshot replication to replicate snapshots across regions and accounts. It also leverages AWS’ new “EBS direct APIs for Snapshots” capability, which enables Changed Block Tracking  on Amazon EBS. Veeam Backup for AWS v2 will leverage these APIs to check changes between snapshots without creating new volumes or instances. This cuts backup time, RPOs and customer costs.

Backup for AWS v2 also better enables hybrid cloud scenarios.

“We have now set it up so you can have a single control plane to control the jobs and policies across a hybrid environment,” Allan said. He also noted that Veeam has just received its Storage Competency with AWS.

Backup for AWS v2 is available now.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator v 3 was the third product announcement.

“This one is near and dear to my heart,” Allan said. “We are moving from protecting the data to being able to manage the data. This was an orchestration product based on Veeam Replication, and in v2 we added the ability to recover and deliver that orchestration not just from replicas but from backup – because not everyone does replication. Now with v3 we are adding the ability to do this at a storage level, with full orchestration support for NetApp ONTAP snapshots. This gives an even better solution for top tier workloads, because this is the fastest tier of storage for recovery.”

More such integrations are on the way.

“You should expect to see more integrations in v4, and if you look at our alliance partners, there won’t be any big surprises who will be involved,” Allan said.

In addition, Veeam Availability Orchestrator v3 creates a new Disaster Recovery [DR] DR Pack offer with Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Availability Suite.

“The DR Pack bundles Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Availability Suite with VAO to democratize it, and bring it out to the masses,” Allan said.

General availability of Veeam Availability Orchestrator v3 is expected within the next 30 days.

While Version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite was just released in February, Veeam also offered a sneak peek of Veeam Availability Suite v11. Three areas were highlighted.

One is Veeam’s introduction of Continuous Data Protection, which is typically used for mission-critical workloads

“It’s valuable for tier one workloads, because you never lose more than a second or two of data and can recover it in that same timeframe,” Allan said.

Second is new object storage integrations. While Veeam supports AWS S3, Azure Blob and IBM today, v11 will add support for Google Cloud Storage

“The second part of this is even more exciting,” Allan added. “Now backup is typically to the performance tier – disk – and then they move it to object, which is cooler and cheaper. With v11, we add support of archive tiers, which are coldest and cheapest. This includes AWS Glacier, AWS Glacier Deep Archive and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage Archive Tier.

The third preview item is the extension of instant recovery to new platforms beyond Windows, and to new workloads. Instant recovery of any backup will be able to be made to a Microsoft Hyper-V VM. Instant publishing of NAS Backup content as a file share, and instant recovery of Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases will also be facilitated.

Anton Gostev, Veeam’s Senior Vice President, Product Management, shared a final tidbit about v11 in the keynote.

“It’s Veeam Agent for Mac,” he said. “We are working on it and hoping to deliver the first version with v11.”

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