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Veeam backup software preps for NAS, more ransomware protection

Following a quarter with 26% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue, Veeam is charging forward with major product enhancements expected by the end of 2019.

Updates to Veeam backup software include the long-awaited NAS support as well as further protection against ransomware attacks.

Catching up with NAS

Version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite with NAS backup will be ready by the end of the year, said Ratmir Timashev, co-founder and executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. Veeam is hoping to get version 10 to service providers in December, and then make it generally available in January.

The product was expected to enter into beta as early as last week.

Headshot of Veeam's Ratmir Timashev

Ratmir Timashev

“In NAS, we are playing a catch-up game,” Timashev acknowledged. Veeam has basic support of NAS through the Network Data Management Protocol, but new capabilities will go further. Timashev would not disclose details about the future NAS support in Veeam backup software.

Version 10 will also include continuous data protection. Timashev said that likely won’t be in the original release, but in an update within a few months. Availability Suite, the vendor’s flagship product, includes Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One monitoring software.

Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group, said she thinks the enhanced NAS support could have the biggest near-term impact of the new capabilities in Version 10.

“I believe that Veeam has been shut out of some deals because it currently does not have a compelling answer to NAS data protection,” Macomber wrote in an email. “Veeam talks quite a bit about being a backup provider and data mover at its core, and this background can help to differentiate Veeam when it comes to NAS backup.”

Stepping up the game against ransomware

Future Veeam backup software will also feature immutable backups.

“It’s the best protection against ransomware,” Timashev said.

Immutability prevents the backup files from being encrypted, giving the user a clean restore point, Macomber noted.

“Immutable backups are becoming important because we are seeing ransomware designed to attack backups emerge,” she wrote.

Currently, Veeam offers Insider Protection, which enables customers to send backups to a service provider without those backups getting exposed to backup administrators, said Rick Vanover, senior director of product strategy.

“Organizations can additionally leverage a copy mechanism with Veeam to put backups on different storage systems and the cloud,” Vanover wrote in an email. “Many capabilities also exist around replication, storage snapshots and more to have additional restore options.”

Vanover said user education is the most effective technique to prevent ransomware from getting into a system.

One way to train users is through fake phishing emails, said Brandon McCoy, cloud engineer at Veeam, on a recent webinar, “Ransomware Preparedness and Recovery.” In a typical scenario, a user who clicks on a link or opens an attachment in the fake email is then directed to training. Ransomware often gets into a system through a user clicking on a bad link or opening an infected attachment.

“Everyone is at risk,” McCoy said on the webinar, which was done in conjunction with cloud service provider NewCloud Networks.

Veeam recommends organizations follow the 3-2-1 rule of backup – three copies of data on at least two different media, with one copy off site. Storage with an air gap, meaning it’s not connected to the network, such as on a tape or removable drive, is the strongest way to protect against cyberattacks.

McCoy also advised organizations to make sure all software is up to date and to perform threat analyses with security teams.

Making the move to subscriptions

For the second quarter of 2019, Veeam emphasized its annual recurring revenue increase. Veeam had previously reported bookings revenue. The use of the term “annual recurring revenue” is new because of Veeam’s change in licensing from perpetual- to subscription-focused. That change is a reflection of the cloud focus in Veeam backup software.

Timashev said Veeam had been hoping for 20% of its business to be subscription by the end of 2019 but has already hit 25%.

The subscription model is available for all new Veeam products, including Update 4 of Availability Suite 9.5. Perpetual licensing is still an option for on-premises deployments. Veeam plans to refine its subscription licensing model in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“The transition from perpetual to subscription licenses is a function of where the marketplace is at,” Macomber wrote. “We live in the era of cloud and utility-like payment. For customers, I see the transition as good news because it offers more payment options, and potentially lower-cost options.”

Veeam claims 355,000 customers and 23,500 partners in its Cloud & Service Provider program.

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