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Veeam chronicles backups with journal-like features

Veeam highlights new capabilities for the Veeam Data Platform during the VeeamON Resiliency Summit, including proactive recovery and a Sophos partnership.

Veeam is pushing incremental improvements to its Data Platform, the company's data protection management console released earlier this year.

The Veeam Data Platform 23H2 update includes a new journal-like recovery from backups feature, protection for object storage used in production and new offerings through a partnership with Sophos, a cybersecurity vendor.

The changes aren't headline-defining updates for a platform almost a year after its release, according to Steve McDowell, analyst and founding partner at NAND Research. Instead, they reflect deliberate reactions to customer demands without compromising security.

"In this space, I don't know if I need more than incremental improvements," McDowell said.

Journaling before 2024

During the company's virtual VeeamON Resiliency Summit Tuesday, Veeam CTO Danny Allan said the Data Platform 23H2 and Veeam Backup & Replication v12.1 updates would be released later this year.

The Veeam Data Platform, launched in February, bundles the company's flagship Veeam Backup & Replication software alongside a monitoring control console with malware scanning features, ransomware detection and API connections.

One noteworthy new capability in Veeam's Backup & Replication is the Veeam Incident API feature, which enables an immediate restoration to a last-known clean backup should third-party security software detect possible infection. The capability can also enable out-of-schedule, immediate backups should security software detect a possible infection while early forensic research or testing is ongoing.

The capability is similar to the journaling features offered by Zerto, another disaster recovery vendor, to log backups and choose restoration points, according to Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group.

"They've been taking steps closer to a Zerto journal type of recovery," Macomber said. "It's something that's going to be valuable from a practitioner's standpoint."

Additional content analysis tools enable further specificity as to what backups to use or remove, as well as scan for potential personal identifiable information and other sensitive content.

Journaling-like features can aid in quick recovery should a ransomware disaster hit but aren't a substitute for longer-term retention policies, according to Macomber. Journaling can create a massive number of backups quickly but can lead to increased storage costs to maintain.

The new Veeam Threat Center, now part of the Veeam Data Platform, further expands visibility capabilities with security posture reports, compliance summaries and more.

Veeam's software also supports backups for object storage, an uncommon feature more data protection vendors are starting to provide alongside traditional block and file workloads.

"Object storage, historically, has been used for longer-term retention," Macomber said, noting its prevalence as off-site storage made it a secondary market concern for years. "We're [now seeing] production use cases for object storage."

Tactical white glove service

The Veeam Data Platform now integrates with Sophos Managed Detection and Response, bringing the former's backup tools to the latter's threat hunting teams.

Specifically, any attempted tampering or threat to backups detected by Veeam sends an alert to the Sophos platform, which flags a contracted security team to review and respond.

It's like the iPhone-ization of data protection.
Christophe BertrandAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Veeam is also offering a new Cyber Secure Program, a fully managed incident recovery service with Veeam support. Should the service fail, Veeam now offers a warranty of up to $5 million.

External security and recovery services are becoming a more common buy for IT teams stretched thin, said Christophe Bertrand, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group. Many customers want a one-click recovery service with assurance of company or partner guidance should something go wrong, especially as backup duties can become part of other IT disciplines in the name of consolidation.

"You can't do it all," Bertrand said. "All of these efforts support the current trends. It's like the iPhone-ization of data protection."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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