VMblog: With COVID-19, we've seen a lot of changes in the tech world. One big change has been the disruption of physical trade shows. Many, like VMworld, have become digital in 2020. What are your thoughts on digital events compared to traditional physical events?
NAKIVO: Traditional physical events like VMworld are great. The chance to talk to other people operating in the VMware ecosystem is just unparalleled. But the circumstances we find ourselves in has made digital events the new reality. At NAKIVO, we have always emphasized hosting webinars for customers and partners who cannot attend events like VMworld, so in that regard, the new situation is manageable. Since physical events have been put on hold, we have proceeded to expand the scope and frequency of our digital offerings to make up for the unfortunate cancellation of physical trade shows. Our experience so far has only cemented our belief that digital events are a great way to both access a wider audience and tailor content to the specific needs of different audiences.
VMblog: With this new digital format, what are you most interested in seeing or learning at VMworld 2020 digital?
NAKIVO: The digital format offers NAKIVO the flexibility to increase the number of employees who can access the valuable content on hand at VMworld 2020. The team that we send to typical physical events will catch all the events and participate in technical engagement with the Premier Pass. But this year, we are happy that other team members will be able to tune in live to specific sessions relevant to their current projects.
VMblog: Another change has been a shift to working from home. What are your thoughts on this, how has it changed things for your company both internally and externally?
NAKIVO: The number one priority for NAKIVO throughout this public health emergency has been our employees' health. Early on we made the decision to shift to remote work and put the procedures in place to make sure our teams were fully equipped. When we made the change, we were worried that it would take time to readjust our processes to the new situation. Yet our teams responded perfectly: since beginning remote work, we have released versions 9.3, 9.4, 10.0 and 10.1 and are on schedule for our future releases.
VMblog: Talking about your product solutions, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique? What are your differentiators?
NAKIVO: NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides customers all the powerful functionality offered by top-end backup and recovery solutions for virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments. Customers can send incremental backups to storage devices and cloud storage; perform a range of full, instant and granular recoveries; and simplify data protection with automation and integration tools. NAKIVO Backup & Replication sets itself apart from the field, however, by combining thorough protection with a customer-first approach. Plans are intentionally priced to be affordable for businesses of any size; the technical support team is available 24/7; and product development is driven by customer recommendations and needs.
VMblog: For people attending the VMworld 2020 digital event, why should they be interested in your company and solutions?
NAKIVO: VMworld events are always full of top companies with great offerings and this year should be no exception. If attendees are not completely satisfied with their current backup and recovery solution, whether due to high cost or a lack of features, they should check out NAKIVO Backup & Replication. With support for VMware and the other most popular virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments, businesses can ensure that their data is protected without overrunning their IT budget.
VMblog: What does your company offer a VMware shop or implementation?
NAKIVO: NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers businesses a data protection solution for virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments. For VMware specifically, our solution helps businesses mitigate the effects of data loss events, improve RTOs and RPOs, reduce storage costs, ensure compliance with the 3-2-1 backup rule and simplify data protection activities. The backup and replication functionalities, for example, enable customers to instantly fail over from malfunctioning VMs to replicas and maintain recoverable backup archives for long-term retention. When it comes to recovery, we offer full, granular and instant recoveries designed for specific use cases, resulting in quicker, more efficient recoveries.
VMblog: Normally, VMworld is the time of year that people in this industry announce a new product or product update. Do you have anything new that you've recently announced or plan to announce? Can you give us the details?
NAKIVO: We have recently released NAKIVO Backup & Replication v10, which introduces support for vSphere 7, Backup to Wasabi, Full P2V Recovery and Linux Workstation backup. With vSphere 7 support, customers can now ensure their VMs are protected while leveraging the virtualization platform's expanded functionality. We added Backup to Wasabi to give businesses even more flexibility when it comes to storing backups on the cloud. Full P2V Recovery enables businesses to rapidly recover from machine failures, easily create testing and development environments and perform physical to virtual migrations by recovering physical machine backups to production-ready VMware VMs.
Looking forward to v10.1, which is currently available for beta and planned for general release in late September. We have added OneDrive for Business Backup and HPE StoreOnce Catalyst integration. Support for OneDrive for Business expands the functionality of Backup for Microsoft 365, enabling customers to protect Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business data. With HPE StoreOnce Catalyst integration, customers can send source-side deduplicated backups to StoreOnce backup appliances directly from the NAKIVO Backup & Replication web interface.
VMblog: How does your company work with VMware? Where do you fit within the VMware ecosystem?
NAKIVO: A backup and recovery solution, NAKIVO Backup & Replication injects resiliency into the VMware ecosystem. With a get out of jail free card from NAKIVO Backup & Replication, businesses can rely on VMware for virtualization without the fear of losing business-critical data or suffering from costly downtime.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides native, agentless, incremental backups and replication of regular and fault-tolerant VMware VMs with support for Changed Block Tracking. If a disruption occurs, customers can recover entire VMs, resume operations instantly with replica failover, or restore individual files and objects from VMware VM backups. For additional flexibility, customers can also recover physical machine backups and Hyper-V or Nutanix AHV VMs to VMware environments. These features not only help with machine failure recovery and testing but also simplify deployment migrations.
VMblog: VMware will be covering a number of topics in their keynote, but what big changes do you see taking shape in the industry?
NAKIVO: It is always exciting to hear thought leaders comment on the industry's direction and we are sure this year will be no different! For NAKIVO, emerging trends driven by industry leaders like VMware provoke one question: how can we empower businesses to leverage new functionalities while ensuring their environments remain thoroughly protected at an affordable price? At the moment, more and more businesses are catching on to the fact that virtualization and cloud computing are central to remaining competitive in the contemporary business landscape. While businesses are increasingly looking to implement these technologies, a gap remains in how to synchronize backup and recovery across hybrid environments.
VMblog: Do you think physical trade shows will come back next year? And if so, do they change? Would you sponsor them?
NAKIVO: It will be great when physical trade shows come back because that will mean we have finally defeated this pandemic. We will not venture a guess as to when exactly, but we do not see digital events fully replacing physical ones. Physical trade shows serve a vital and irreplaceable function in the industry: the chance to meet members of the VMware community face-to-face. Our teams return from VMworld events with new professional and personal connections that translate into new business opportunities and closer bonds with companies in adjacent sectors.
As for the long-term outlook of physical vs. digital trade shows, we believe there will be a strong move toward hybrid events that get the best of both. For a long time, we have known that physical events offer unparalleled opportunities for business-to-business connections with resellers and partners. Now, we are seeing how digital events make it easier to reach those who have been unable to attend physical trade shows in the past as well as the benefits of creating more directed content for specific audiences. Ultimately, we foresee events to retain the time-trusted in-person model but feature expanded digital content. We very much look forward to sponsoring such events in the future.
VMblog: Finally, what should businesses look for when choosing a backup and recovery solution for VMware?
NAKIVO: The good news for businesses is that there are plenty of data protection solutions on the market. The key areas to focus on when choosing a solution are functionality, cost and technical support. Functionality is a no-brainer. You want a solution that provides backup, replication and diverse recovery options and also offers advanced features to reduce storage costs, improve backup windows and increase workflow efficiency. Cost is a bit more subjective. There are top-end options that are designed for large enterprises but have a price tag to match it. Then there are the other high-quality options with similar functionality but aimed at businesses with tighter IT budgets. Lastly, technical support is so important because when a disruption occurs, you need to respond immediately. If you face any hiccups, prompt technical support can often be the difference between an effective response and costly losses. We designed NAKIVO Backup & Replication to meet all these criteria and our mission statement today remains the same: deliver powerful protection with 24/7 support at an affordable price for businesses of any size.