Disclaimer: I recently attended VeeamON Forum Sydney 2018. My flights and accommodation were paid for by Veeam. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event. Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.
I recently had the opportunity to attend VeeamON Forum in Sydney courtesy of Veeam. I was lucky enough to see Dave Russell‘s keynote speech, and also fortunate to spend some time chatting with him in the afternoon. Dave was great to talk to and I thought I’d share some of the key points here.
Hyper All of the Things
If you scroll down Veeam’s website you’ll see mention of a number of different “hyper” things, including hyper-availability. Veeam are keen to position themselves as an availability company, with their core focus being on making data you need recoverable, at the time when you need it to be recoverable.
Russell mentioned that data has become “hyper-critical” to business, with the likes of:
- GDPR compliance;
- PII data retention;
- PCI compliance requirements;
- Customer data; and
- Financial records, etc.
Russell also spoke about the hyper-growth of data, with all kinds of data (including structured, unstructured, application, and Internet of things data) is also growing at a rapid clip.
This explosive growth of data has also lead to the “hyper-sprawl” of data, with your data now potentially living in any or all of the following locations:
- SaaS-based solutions
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
Five Stages of Intelligent Data Management
Russell broke down Intelligent Data Management (IDM) into 5 stages.
A key part of any data management strategy is the ability to backup all workloads and ensure they are always recoverable in the event of outages, attack, loss or theft.
The ability to cope with data sprawl, as well as growth, means you need to ensure protection and access to data across multiple clouds to drive digital services and ensure continuous business operations.
It’s not just about protecting vast chunks of data in multiple places though. You also need to look at the requirement to “improve management of data across multi-clouds with clear, unified visibility and control into usage, performance issues and operations”.
Orchestration, ideally, can then be used to “[s]eamlessly move data to the best location across multi-clouds to ensure business continuity, compliance, security and optimal use of resources for business operations”.
The final piece of the puzzle is automation. According to Veeam, you can get to a point where the “[d]ata becomes self-managing by learning to backup, migrate to ideal locations based on business needs, secure itself during anomalous activity and recover instantaneously”.
Data growth is not a new phenomenon by any stretch, and Veeam obviously aren’t the first to notice that protecting all this staff can be hard. Sprawl is also becoming a real problem in all types environments. It’s not just about knowing you have some unstructured data that can impact workflows in a key application. It’s about knowing which cloud platform that data might reside in. If you don’t know where it is, it makes it a lot harder to protect, and your risk profile increases as a result. It’s not just the vendors banging on about data growth through IoT either, it’s a very real phenomena that is creating all kinds of headaches for CxOs and their operations teams. Much like the push in to public cloud by “shadow IT” teams, IoT solutions are popping up in all kinds of unexpected places in the enterprise and making it harder to understand exactly where the important data is being kept and how it’s protected.
Veeam are talking a very good game around intelligent data management. I remember a similar approach being adopted by a three-letter storage company about a decade ago. They lost their way a little under the weight of acquisitions, but the foundation principles seem to still hold water today. Dave Russell obviously saw quite a bit at Gartner in his time there prior to Veeam, so it’s no real surprise that he’s pushing them in this direction.
Backup is just the beginning of the data management problem. There’s a lot else that needs to be done in order to get to the “intelligent” part of the equation. My opinion remains that a lot of enterprises are still some ways away from being there. I also really like Veeam’s focus on moving from policy-based through to a behaviour-based approach to data management.
I’ve been aware of Veeam for a number of years now, and have enjoyed watching them grow as a company. They’re working hard to make their way in the enterprise now, but still have a lot to offer the smaller environments. They tell me they’re committed to remaining a software-only solution, which gives them a certain amount of flexibility in terms of where they focus their R & D efforts. There’s a great cloud story there, and the bread and butter capabilities continue to evolve. I’m looking to see what they have coming over the next 12 months. It’s a relatively crowded market now, and it’s only going to get more competitive. I’ll be doing a few more articles in the next month or two focusing on some of Veeam’s key products so stay tuned.