Veeam aims to expand reach, bolster data security

Veeam's user conference centered on cyber resilience and ransomware preparedness and prevention, with new partnerships and integrations that expand its platforms.

MIAMI -- The strong user community Veeam has built over the years convened at VeeamON this week, where the data backup, recovery and data management software vendor's conference theme focused on further expanding its overall reach.

Many conversations with Veeam users, partners and executives I have had here so far revolved around ransomware preparedness, an area in which Veeam is going to continue investing. It is very clear that security leads the conversation not only for Veeam, but in the market in general. TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group's research on the state of ransomware preparedness shows that even the best-prepared organizations do not do well in recovering data.

On stage, Veeam CEO Anand Eswaran focused on cyber resilience and ransomware preparedness and prevention. Two customers were interviewed on stage and discussed how they handled ransomware attacks and how Veeam helped them get back on their feet. If this were not Veeam, you'd think you were at a cybersecurity event. Or maybe that's the point: Backup and recovery is morphing into cyber recovery and building a cyber-resilient infrastructure.

Veeam product updates

Veeam keeps its product teams busy with 24 releases since last VeeamON and 68 releases of Kasten by Veeam since the fourth quarter of 2020. This high level of execution on the product side has been critical to establish Veeam's leadership in the past few years, and will continue to move forward against a backdrop of intensified competition and new market boundaries with cyber resilience.

Veeam's updated themes revolve around three axes: data security, which is first in sequence by design; data recovery, because who cares about backup -- it is about being able to recover data; and data freedom, or the ability to move and protect data across the multi-cloud hybrid world we live in, with broad platform coverage.

There are three areas of technology focus for the Veeam Data Platform, introduced earlier this year and recently updated with V12: proven recovery orchestration, proactive monitoring and analytics, and secure backup and fast recovery.

The orchestration component is heavily influenced by the need for enhanced cyber resiliency. The idea is to help organizations more easily orchestrate recovery of last good backups before ransomware.

Photo of Veeam CEO Anand Eswaran speaking at the VeeamON conference 2023.
Veeam CEO Anand Eswaran speaking at the VeeamON conference 2023.

Future enhancements to the Veeam Data Platform around ransomware preparedness include its inline data analysis/detection vs. post-process. The issue is that scanning petabytes of data is extremely time- and resource-consuming. It can literally take days. To mitigate this issue, the Veeam Data Platform will deliver analysis inline on incremental data in data proxies looking for indicators of compromise. This approach doesn't use up a lot of CPU and only focuses on incremental data. This also means near instant identification, closer to the time of an attack.

Kasten by Veeam

The company also launched Kasten K10 by Veeam V6.0 with, not surprisingly, a focus on security and recoverability of containers.

New capabilities of Kasten K10 V6.0 include enterprise-grade ransomware protection, which extends threat detection capabilities by logging all events into Kubernetes audit natively to look for and flag patterns of abnormal, suspicious activity.

One additional new and interesting capability is App Fingerprinting. This enables newly deployed stateful applications to be automatically mapped to appropriate blueprints to achieve proper data consistency. In these modern container-based environments, there are many types of storage components to keep track of. The idea is to provide an easy button to the teams protecting container environments by understanding what is where, protect all of it and deliver instant recovery.

Kasten K10 also continues to add cloud-native integrations with Kubernetes 1.26, Red Hat OpenShift 4.12 and a new built-in blueprint for Amazon RDS. Veeam also added additional hybrid cloud support on Google Cloud Platform, cross-platform restore targets for VMware Tanzu environments, and new Cisco Hybrid Cloud with Red Hat OpenShift and Kasten K10. New storage options include NetApp OnTap S3 and Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage S3.

Cloud and SaaS

Veeam is also all about cloud, reporting it has 6,000 customers on Veeam Backup for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

Photo of Veeam CTO Danny Allan on stage at the VeeamON conference 2023.
Veeam CTO Danny Allan speaking at the VeeamON conference 2023.

Last year, Veeam CTO Danny Allan estimated it sent 1 exabyte of data to the cloud. The next version of the platform will add support for object storage protection, because objects need to be backed up too. This will include the ability to back up from object storage to Veeam backup repositories or directly to tape; restore entire buckets including permission, attributes and tags; restore individual objects or specific object versions; and deliver immutability, object versions archive and backup copy among other items.

Veeam also boasts more than 15 million paid users of its Microsoft 365 backup software and has recently released support for Salesforce.

Also of note is the integration with ServiceNow, a bidirectional integration with automatic setup of policies as new apps are deployed. Veeam will open a ticket if a backup fails. Syslog support will also be available in the next release as a new target for Veeam backup and replication in the same vein of security information and event management integration.

All in all, Veeam has built a complete portfolio of supported platforms over the years that goes well beyond its initial VMware backup and recovery feature set. One area I had hoped to see more capabilities and support around is SaaS applications. I know Veeam is closely monitoring the market and that resources tradeoffs are not always easy. However, many SaaS applications are mission-critical and not immune to ransomware, and I would expect and encourage Veeam to add more platforms.

Veeam partnerships

I also had the opportunity to meet with one of their service partners, CyberFortress, which has been a Veeam partner for many years. They have developed two Veeam-powered managed services: backup as a service and disaster recovery as a service, both supported by credentialed Veeam experts and actively marketing for both Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.

Veeam is clearly executing on its strategy on many fronts, including its ecosystem of partners and alliances, which continues to be central to Veeam's strategy. The partner area was buzzing at the event's opening reception. This healthy partner ecosystem is, in my opinion, one of the keys to Veeam's success and will be all the more critical moving forward as the competitive landscape continues to intensify.

Finally, Veeam continues to support diversity in IT, in particular with its corporate Women in Green program. The company now offers free Veeam certification to 150 women globally -- a great initiative.

Practice Director Christophe Bertrand covers data protection, data management and analytics for TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

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