June 07, 2024

VeeamON 2024: A Shift Towards Cyber Resilience

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This week, Veeam hosted its annual user conference, VeeamON 2024, at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. The focus of the event was clear: Veeam is transitioning from a data backup provider to a comprehensive cyber resilience solution company.

Over the three-day event, Veeam was able to showcase the company's latest innovations in data protection, cloud integration, and artificial intelligence (AI). The event provided a platform for Veeam executives to share their vision and unveil new offerings designed to address the evolving needs of its customers in an ever-changing technology landscape. And two of those Veeam executives that VMblog had the pleasure to sit down with were Rick Vanover, VP of Product Strategy, and Shiva Pillay, GM and SVP of Americas.

Here's a breakdown from some of the key announcements and what they mean for Veeam users:

Prioritizing Cyber Resilience

The overarching theme at VeeamON 2024 was cyber resilience. Veeam's CEO, Anand Eswaran, emphasized the need for organizations to move beyond just backups and acknowledged the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, particularly ransomware. The agenda heavily featured sessions like "Embrace the Breach with a Step-by-Step Cyber Recovery Plan" which highlights this shift in focus.

This focus on cyber resilience is a significant step for Veeam. By acknowledging the current threat landscape and offering solutions beyond traditional backup, Veeam positions itself as a more strategic partner for businesses.

Introducing Veeam Data Cloud Vault

A major announcement at VeeamON was Veeam Data Cloud Vault. This pre-configured, Veeam-managed cloud storage service leverages Microsoft Azure. The key feature? Immutability. Data stored in the Vault is encrypted and logically air-gapped, meaning it's isolated from the primary network, making it significantly harder for ransomware attacks to reach and corrupt backups.

As Rick Vanover explained, "Veeam Data Cloud Vault is backup storage-as-a-service. We're reselling not just Azure storage but reselling the immutability configuration and the retention, and we're prepared for egress data in the event of a recovery too."

For Veeam users, this is a game-changer. Data Cloud Vault offers a secure, reliable, and readily available offsite backup location specifically designed to thwart ransomware attacks. This additional layer of protection can significantly improve recovery times and minimize data loss in the event of a cyberattack.

Notable Idea of Data Freedom

The introduction of Data Cloud Vault also aligns with Veeam's emphasis on data freedom, enabling customers to seamlessly migrate their data across various platforms without being locked into a single vendor. Vanover emphasized the importance of this flexibility, stating, "We are really at the crossroads of that conversation, but not necessarily for migration. That's a wonderful 'Oh, you can help me get there too' type of thing."

But while hypervisors usually have a way to get you into their technology, they don't offer a way to get back out.

Shiva Pallay, a Veeam executive with a background in security, echoed the significance of data freedom, drawing parallels to corporate ransomware. "There's a different type of ransomware in my opinion that's going on, which is corporate ransomware where you're locked into price," he said. "Being able to move and innovate without being held hostage is crucial."

Lenovo TruScale Backup with Veeam

Another key announcement was the partnership with Lenovo for TruScale Backup with Veeam. This offering combines Veeam Backup and Replication (VBR) and Veeam ONE with Lenovo's TruScale services. The result? A scalable, cloud-like data protection experience on-premises.

This is a win for businesses seeking a hybrid or on-premises data protection solution. TruScale Backup with Veeam offers the familiar functionality of Veeam's products with the scalability and potential cost-efficiency of Lenovo's TruScale services.

Embracing the Hybrid Cloud and Containerization

Veeam also made it quite clear that they understand the increasing adoption of hybrid cloud environments and the rise of containerized workloads. They announced continued focus on expanding their solutions to seamlessly integrate with these modern IT infrastructures.

Specifically, Veeam highlighted advancements in their existing cloud-native backup and recovery solutions for platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. This means Veeam users can leverage their familiar Veeam tools to protect and manage data across cloud and on-premises environments.

For containerized workloads, Veeam emphasized support for Kubernetes environments. Existing Veeam offerings like Veeam Kasten for Kubernetes can be expected to see further development to provide robust backup and recovery functionalities specifically designed for containerized applications.

Pallay noted the growing demand for Kubernetes protection, stating, "Kubernetes as a result of what's going on, on the shift to containers, is a hot space for us; and our product is the world leader in this space. There's been a ton of demand, a ton of questions, even in public sector, federal, and now into the commercial space."

Integrating Microsoft's Copilot AI service

On the keynote stage, Veeam also discussed its partnership with Microsoft and how they are integrating Microsoft's Copilot AI service with Veeam's backup and recovery solutions.

Veeam announced a multi-year strategic partnership extension with Microsoft. A key focus of this partnership is the integration of Veeam's data protection platform with Microsoft Copilot and other AI services.

The collaboration aims to leverage Microsoft Copilot for functionalities like automated data analysis within Veeam's backup and recovery solutions.

During a live demo, Vanover demonstrated how the AI-powered copilot could analyze data insights and initiate restore tasks, showcasing its potential to streamline data protection processes.

Pallay further highlighted the importance of AI in simplifying the lives of administrators and enhancing customer experiences, telling VMblog, "The Co-pilot thing was really impressive, right? If you think about AI and the use of it in systems, there's an element of trust, and companies still have to go out and figure out what is acceptable from an app perspective. However, from a technology perspective, we showed pretty simply, you could query and find out who wasn't backed up or who wasn't protected."

This could lead to features like:

  • Identifying potential threats or anomalies in backups.
  • Gaining insights into backup efficiency and resource utilization.
  • Generating reports and visualizations to simplify data protection management.

VeeamON 2024's announcements signal a clear direction for Veeam. The company is prioritizing cyber resilience and offering a wider range of solutions to address the evolving needs of its users.

Here's a quick breakdown of the impact for Veeam users:

  • Enhanced Security: Veeam Data Cloud Vault provides a secure offsite backup location specifically designed to counter ransomware attacks.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: TruScale Backup with Veeam offers a scalable on-premises data protection solution.
  • Future-Proofing: The exploration of AI integration suggests Veeam is committed to continuous innovation in data protection and recovery.

Final Thoughts

VeeamON 2024 showcased a company moving beyond data backup and towards a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy. Throughout the conference, Veeam emphasized its focus on delivering innovative solutions that empower customers to navigate the complexities of modern IT environments. As organizations grapple with the challenges of data protection, cloud migration, and emerging technologies, Veeam positions itself as a trusted partner, offering comprehensive solutions and a commitment to data freedom.

As the technology landscape continues to evolve, events like VeeamON 2024 serve as a platform for industry leaders to share their visions and showcase their latest innovations. With its focus on data freedom, AI integration, and hybrid cloud support, Veeam aims to equip customers with the tools they need to thrive in an ever-changing digital world.

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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