October 8, 2014: Today at the Las Vegas VeeamON conference, Veeam announced its first foray into the world of physical device backup. With the rather catchy name “Veeam Endpoint Backup Free,” the product, when it is released, will be able to back up a physical endpoint (read Windows-based operating system) to a NAS share or a Veeam backup repository.
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In the past, I have written about the next generation of data protection, which combines analytics with broader data and holistic system protection into one easy-to-use product (or set of products). The goal is to take disaster recovery to the future, when we will be able to restore and test our restores of not just our data, but also the systems required to make that data accessible, including all networking and security constructs. If you were to have a massive disaster, could your disaster recovery techniques restore your entire environment at just a push of a button? Does your disaster recovery testing feed back into analytics to determine what needs to change to make this a reality?
Backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity have changed quite a bit over the years, and they will continue to change into the future as more capability, analytics, and functionality are added to the general family of data protection tools. As we launch ourselves into the clouds, we need to perhaps rethink how we do data protection, what tools are available for data protection, and how to use our older tools to accomplish the same goals. We need an integrated data protection plan that not only accounts for cloud or data center failures but also accounts for the need to run within the cloud. There is always the need to get your data there and back again.
Recently at Dell World, I was part of a conversation about what would be utopian disaster recovery and where we are today in the state of the industry. But where we are today is transforming, with a new name that encompasses many technologies. We are now using the term “data protection” (DP) to mean much more than just disaster recovery (DR), backup, business continuity (BC), replication, data loss prevention, and replication, but also the basic functions of confidentiality, such as encryption. The main goal of data protection is to provide a way to use your data as quickly as possible wherever it is needed and with minimal or no loss.
In many cases, when we mention Data Protection for the Hybrid Cloud, we are usually talking about backing up to the cloud. The cloud becomes a repository of our backup images and in some cases those backup images can be launched within clouds that use the same technology. Being able to send data to the cloud is becoming table stakes for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) data protection. However, once we move outside the realm of IaaS to Platform or Software as a Service (PaaS or SaaS), data protection is hit or miss.
In a recent set of announcements, the virtualization backup and data protection companies have announced support for tape. Tape has always been supported indirectly by virtualization backup companies such as Veeam, Quantum, and PhD Virtual as well as directly by Symantec, HP, CommVault, etc. It is interesting to note that there is a convergence on tape support using two distinct methods. The first is to add support for tape libraries directly into their products: Veeam. The second is to add tape support by better integration with their existing product suite: Quantum. Even so, we know that tape still reigns for storing of large amounts of data. We just cannot seem to be rid of it, nor do I think we ever will be.