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Veeam cloud backup gains tiering, mobility, AWS enhancements

The Veeam cloud backup platform becomes more comprehensive as backed up data continues to shift to the cloud. Updates allow users to move data around easier.

The latest version of Veeam Software's flagship Availability Suite focuses on facilitating tiering and migrating data into public clouds.

Veeam launched what it calls Update 4 of Availability Suite 9.5 today, less than a week after picking up $500 million in funding that can help the vendor expand its technology through acquisitions, as well as organically.

Availability Suite includes Backup & Replication and the Veeam One monitoring and reporting tool. Update 4 of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 had been available to partners for a short time and is now generally available to end-user customers.

The new Veeam Availability Suite update includes Cloud Tier and Cloud Mobility features, and extends its Direct Restore capability to AWS.

With its cloud focus, Veeam is making a push in a trending area in the market, according to Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Our research clearly indicates that backup data and processes are shifting to the cloud," Bertrand wrote in an email. "Cloud-related features are going to be critical in the next few years as end users continue to 'hybridize' their environments, and there is still a lot to do to harmonize backup/recovery service levels and instrumentation across on-premises and cloud infrastructures."

Cloud Tier, Cloud Mobility, N2WS integration launched

Veeam started out as backup for virtual machines but now also protects data on physical servers and cloud platforms.

Availability Suite's Cloud Tier offers built-in automatic tiering of data in a new Scale-out Backup Repository to object storage. The Veeam cloud backup feature provides long-term data retention by using object storage integration with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Azure Blob Storage, IBM Cloud Object Storage, S3-compatible service providers and on-premises storage products.

Cloud-related features are going to be critical in the next few years as end users continue to 'hybridize' their environments.
Christophe Bertrandsenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Cloud Tier helps to increase storage capacity and lower cost, as object storage is cheaper than block storage, according to Danny Allan, Veeam vice president of product strategy.

Cloud Mobility provides migration and recovery of on-premises or cloud-based workloads to AWS, Azure and Azure Stack.

Allan said Veeam cloud backup users simply need to answer two questions for business continuity: Which region and what size instance?

Veeam extended its Direct Restore feature to AWS. It previously offered Direct Restore to Azure. Direct Restore allows organizations to restore data directly to the public cloud.

Veeam added a Staged Restore feature to its DataLabs copy management tool. Staged Restore reduces the time it takes to review sensitive data and remove personal information, streamlining compliance with regulations such as the GDPR. The new Secure Restore scans backups with an antivirus software interface to stop malware such as ransomware from entering production during recovery.

The Veeam cloud backup updates also include integration with N2WS, an AWS data protection company that Veeam acquired a year ago. The new Veeam Availability for AWS combines Veeam N2WS cloud-native backup and recovery of AWS workloads with consolidation of backup data in a central Veeam repository. End users can move data to multi-cloud environments and manage it.

"This is designed for the hybrid customer, which is primarily what we see now," Allan said.

For cloud-only customers, N2WS Backup & Recovery is still available from the AWS Marketplace.

Bertrand said he thinks the N2WS integration is a "starting point."

"The key here is to offer the capability of managing all the backups in one place," Bertrand wrote. "It gives end users better visibility over their Veeam backups whether in AWS or on premises."

Veeam also updated its licensing. Users can move licenses automatically when workloads move between platforms, such as multiple clouds.

How Veeam products stack up in crowded market

Private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, which acquired a minority share in Veeam in 2013, invested an additional $500 million in the software vendor last Wednesday.

Veeam has about 3,500 employees and plans to add almost 1,000 more over the coming year. In addition, last November, Veeam said it is investing $150 million to expand its main research and development center in Prague. Veeam claims to have about 330,000 customers.

Veeam founder Ratmir Timashev said the vendor is looking to grow further by using its latest funding haul to acquire companies and technologies.

Veeam isn't the only well-funded startup in the data protection and data management market. Last week, Rubrik also completed a large funding round. The $261 million Series E funding will help Rubrik build out its Cloud Data Management platform. Cohesity closed a $250 million funding round and Actifio pulled in $100 million in 2018. The data protection software market also includes established vendors such as Veritas, Dell EMC, IBM and Commvault.

While many of its competitors now offer integrated appliances, Veeam is sticking with a software-only model. Instead of selling its own hardware, Veeam partners with such vendors as Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NetApp and Lenovo.

"Unlike many others, we have a completely software-defined platform," Allan said, "giving our customers choices for on-premises hardware vendors or cloud infrastructure."

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