Whether it’s called backup, data protection or availability, Veeam sells insurance, for your data, for your company – and for your job, if you’re in IT. First released in 2008, Veeam has had excellent timing, providing an Availability/protection solution designed for virtual machines as the IT industry shifted from physical to virtual servers (the Veeam name actually comes from the phonetic spelling of V and M). In the past half dozen years, Veeam has become somewhat of a juggernaut in the data protection space, adding 4,000 customers a month and generating annual sales approaching $1B.
At VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans, the company announced a number of planned upgrades and additions with version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite, which will be GA in Q4 of this year. The emphasis is now clearly on service providers, as more of Veeam’s customers are using the cloud for the off-site part of their data protection infrastructure. Veeam is adding new features and functionality that their partner network (over 15,000 of which are CSPs offering cloud-based backup and DR) can sell as services in addition to selling software licenses and support.
The new Veeam Availability Console will enable service providers and distributed enterprises to deploy and manage Veeam services for virtual machines running on-site or in the cloud as well as physical servers and workstations. Other Veeam Availability Suite version 10 upgrades include:
Veeam announced several enhancements for Cloud Connect, the built-in feature that lets users add backup and DR-as-a-Service through a CSP. With Veeam Availability Suite v10, they’ve added a Continuous Data Protection feature that integrates with vSphere API for IO Filtering. It replaces discrete snapshots and continuously replicates changes (at the IO level) to a Service Provider’s DR repository or to the public cloud. vCloud Director is also integrated with Veeam Cloud Connect Replication to simplify management.
Service providers can now offer a tape copy of customers’ backups for compliance, retention or security reasons. Being off-line, a tape-based copy provides an “air gap” protection against ransomware or data corruption.
Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 lets companies capture and store a copy of their email data on-site or at their service provider. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v1.5 supports a multi-repository, multi-tenant architecture, plus automation features that enables MSPs to provide Office 365 backup for their clients. Version 2.0 will also support SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
Veeam now provides agent-less backup (and recovery) of EC2 instances to an on-site repository or service provider using AWS snapshots. Veeam also enables direct recovery of failed VMs in Microsoft Azure via a free utility called Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure.
Last year, Veeam released an agent for direct backup and recovery for Linux physical servers. Now, Veeam supports Windows servers, desktops, laptops and remote endpoint devices. With Veeam Availability Suite v10, admins can manage Linux and Windows agents directly through the Veeam Backup and Replication console.
Veeam Availability Suite v10 also provides file-level support for SMB and NFS shares on Network Attached Storage systems. Also, the Scale-Out Backup Repository will provide an archive tier, allowing backed up data to be moved to any storage system or media including object storage – whether on-premises or in the cloud.
More than just good timing, Veeam has also developed the products that appeal to the virtualized data center. Now, with most companies more than 75% virtualized (a Gartner statistic) Veeam is focusing on adding capabilities to protect platforms beyond VMs, and supporting the cloud in every possible data protection scenario. Veeam has almost a quarter million customers worldwide, and is still growing at a substantial pace.
In general, large enterprises aren’t replacing their legacy backup systems, just yet, but there is a big incentive to reduce the cost of traditional backup. Products like Veritas and CommVault charge based on capacity, while Veeam, charges by the number of sockets, like VMware does. This creates an opportunity to save money. As an example, the CIO for the Hard Rock Café casino in Las Vegas said during a presentation that they saved an estimated $150,000 a year by replacing their legacy backup infrastructure with Veeam Availability Suite.
One could argue that traditional backup is going the way of traditional storage systems. In that context, Veeam is in the right position to provide insurance for the growing part of most companies’ IT environments, as they continue to virtualize.
While there were significant product announcements, this event seemed a little less impressive than the last VeeamON event in the fall of 2015. An increasingly dominant player in data protection for virtual servers Veeam is starting to act more like the establishment. As the company closes in on $1B in revenue (projected for 2018), one could hardly call them an upstart, but maybe a victim of their own success.