Veeam: Center of Data Protection

Veaam is forging a series of interesting agreements with competitors as well as infrastructure players. It has also added into its core product features considered to be more legacy than future, such as tape support. In essence, it is becoming the center of the data protection space within any organization. Veeam Availability Suite augments existing sets of tools to let them do more than they could alone. Veeam has founded its own ecosystem.

Veeam works with traditional tape backup companies by providing integration with virtual environments and using the other companies’ tools to do the tape component. Alternatively, companies can use Veeam’s built-in tape functionality. Veeam also works with storage arrays to provide another avenue to extract virtual machines from array snapshots for NetApp, HP, and now EMC. It also works well with Cisco UCS systems.

Veeam crosses hypervisor and cloud boundaries by working within several clouds and providing data protection for Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.

Recently, Veeam added Quantum to its ecosystem. It is now possible to use the DXi global deduplication device as storage for Veeam repositories. In addition, since you can replicate between multiple DXi solutions into multiple clouds, Veeam gains the ability to have its data moved around with other data on a DXi. This makes Veeam data even more available for restoration, wherever that data is needed, whether in a cloud with a DXi and a Veeam console, or in another hypervisor. In addition, Quantum tape devices give Veeam a tiered storage play.

Further, the use of Quantum DXi gives Veeam access to even more clouds than it had with its Veeam Cloud Connect product, which requires service providers to be involved. With a virtual DXi, any cloud can be a target for storage.

The only thing missing now is the ability to restore Hyper-V instances onto a vSphere environment, and vice versa. We know that a DXi can replicate to Quantum’s Q-Cloud Protect, which can run various formats of backups. This means that the DXi and Q-Cloud Protect can restore between disparate hypervisors. This now becomes an interesting play for Veeam and Quantum and complements all other ecosystem players.

One often overlooked part of a Veeam installation is SureBackup. Why overlooked? Because testing backups is not something anyone does much these days. They should, they will have to, and SureBackup can perform such tests for the user. It does require scripting; I personally would like Puppet and Chef integration into SureBackup, so that testing can use other scripting tools. This is where the Veeam community can get involved in a major way.

How does Veeam Endpoint fit into this? It brings to Veeam another missing piece of the puzzle. With Endpoint, Veeam can now back up Windows desktops, including those within a VDI. It fits with Veeam’s overall strategy to be the center of its ecosystem. To work with other vendors, even in their own space, to expand Veeam’s footprint. To become, in essence, the backup tool of choice for the future of virtual and cloud environments.

That being said, there are a few things missing. Veeam does not today support KVM or Xen. Nor does it support Linux desktops with Endpoint. Xen and KVM will be needed if Veeam wishes to be part of the OpenStack and container movements.

Multiple hypervisors, tape, storage arrays, and replication services to clouds via Veeam Cloud Connect, as well as Quantum DXi and support for Windows Endpoints: Veeam has come a very long way from the days of yore.

In the vision of everything as code, we need to implement Data Protection as Code: the use of Veeam APIs to create new backup groups, targets, etc., as well as the ability to automate the running of SureBackup not only to recover but to test backup alongside development. This way, if a piece of the application is missing, development can adjust the Data Protection as Code. Then, as part of testing and deployment backups, the application can be tested for all forms of disaster. Actually, we can go one step further and eventually back up all the code and the deployment servers, not just deployed virtual machines, and restoration would be of those deployment servers and their data. At this point, we just let Jenkins, Ansible, Vagrant, or the like deploy our applications.

We are not there yet, but Veeam has an ecosystem now that will eventually get us to that point.





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