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It’s the year of the cloud, says backup giant Veeam

Veeam roadmap adds cloud to virtual and physical backup with acquisitions that bring cloud and hybrid functionality. Object archives, CDP and NAS backup are also planned

This will be the year of cloud, says backup big-hitter Veeam, which will consolidate cloud functionality gained via acquisition into its Backup & Replication product.

The company’s moves mirror wider trends that have seen the increasing prevalence of hybrid cloud functionality in backup and storage products.

Veeam roadmap items also include the addition of object storage archiving, continuous data protection (CDP) and NAS backup.

“The year 2018 is very much about cloud,” said Danny Allan, Veeam vice-president for product strategy. “Last year was all about consolidation – virtual, physical, cloud – and wrapping them into a single platform.”

By the end of 2017, Veeam had agents for Windows and Linux that could protect any virtual or physical machine, on-premise or in the cloud, and integrate with Backup & Replication.

In January this year, it announced the acquisition of N2WS, which provides data protection in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

And this week it announced the general availability of Veeam Availability Orchestrator, which pretty much does what it says on the tin, said Allan.

“It orchestrates recovery,” he said. “If the service was a single VM [virtual machine], it wouldn’t be very complex. But if things are very complex, you’ll want to know what the set of services look like, how they can be put back together, how to orchestrate a complex recovery, and that includes to the cloud.

“It can take complex scenarios and simplify them to recover from point A to point B, and it could be any cloud. It’s not a magic button that gives seamless access to anything. But we can send to any cloud with a block storage repository, and to 18,000 providers in the VCSP [Veeam Cloud & Service Provider] programme.”

Veeam’s moves towards embracing Hybrid cloud operations mirror wider trends that have seen the rise of storage technologies built for Hybrid cloud use with a single namespace accessible on- and off-site.

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For example, there was the recent announcement of Qumulo’s QF2 file system and Cloudian’s Hyperstore 7, which allow file and object storage in hybrid cloud operations, and Microsoft’s purchase of Avere, which also has a unified on-prem/cloud file storage capability in its C2N product.

In data protection, there has been the rise of cloud-to-cloud backup, which has sought to add advanced backup capabilities for customers that don’t want to rely on the basic offerings that come with the likes of Microsoft Office 365.

But that is not a current priority for Veeam, said Allan. “Cloud-to-cloud is very like sending data to the cloud,” he said. “We don’t see it as a predominant ask from customers, but do expect that to change.”

Hyper-converged infrastructure, including for backup, has also been a key trend in the datacentre, but Veeam doesn’t see it as a priority, said Allan.

“Veeam has historically been focused on being able to offer flexibility and has therefore been a software-defined set of products,” he said. “That said, some customers want to simplify purchasing and want hardware/software combinations. So we have reference architectures, for example with Cisco and HPE hardware.”

Also on the Veeam roadmap are object storage as a target for the archiving tier in 2018, and the addition of CDP and NAS data protection at a later date.

According to Allan, CDP will add another tool to the data protection toolbox that will enable Veeam to “read the I/O flow between the hypervisor and storage to provide an RPO of seconds”.

Meanwhile, NAS data protection will provide file level data protection where previously customers had to protect NAS with snapshots. .................................................................................................................

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