Veeam and the art of the portable

I like Veeam as a company, they deliver what they are supposed to and have customers who appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of their suite of products and how they “just work”.

The other thing I like about Veeam is their strategic direction, public cloud has changed the technology landscape, not only for those of us using IT but also those supplying it, the need to understand the part cloud plays for vendors and their customers is an interesting challenge and vendors are evolving to embrace cloud and make it something increasingly accessible for their customers IT teams.

an image showing cloud use cases test & Dev, data recovery and migration to the cloud
Public Cloud Use Cases

Public cloud is an attractive proposition for many enterprises, it’s flexible and scalable both technically and commercially, but sometimes understanding how to exploit the cloud, easily consume it and get the best from it, can be tricky. Which is why a move by vendors to simplify our use of cloud and allow us to use It without needing to re-architect parts of our infrastructure, should be welcomed.

How is Veeam simplifying cloud use? Recently Veeam Global Technologist, Michael Cade, presented at Cloud Field Day 5, his presentation was entitled “Portability and Cloud Mobility”. This presentation along with the ones from his colleagues Anthony Spiteri and David Hill, were excellent examples of both Veeam strategy and the simplification of complex IT challenges via the use of public cloud, providing integration, protection of native cloud workloads and portability.

The ability to move workloads between locations is increasingly important for modern IT infrastructure, portability for production, test, development and disaster recovery has real value for businesses, be it between datacentres, new platforms for migration or increasingly to public cloud, the demands for flexibility in our IT mean that the ability to move workloads to where we need them, when we need them has to be increasingly a part of our IT strategy.

Veeam and Portability

While portability is increasingly important, it doesn’t mean it’s straightforward, moving workloads to new locations and new platforms is not a trivial task, not only do they need moving, but to move between disparate systems also requires those workloads to be seamlessly transformed from one platform to another.

To achieve this requires consistency across these multiple platforms. In Veeam’s case, this consistency is provided by their standard backup file, this standardisation allows them the flexibility, via a variety of tools, to open and manipulate those files to provide a range of restore options in many different locations.

Image showing how the standard Veeam backup file VBK powers their cloud mobility
The Veeam Backup File Standard

This is a great example of how Veeam can simplify a complex process, building on the consistency of their backup format and then providing the ability to manipulate these files and re-present them directly on a cloud platform (including Azure Stack), without the need to install any service or software so it can be immediately restored is really smart.

Importantly this also removes much of the complexity from the user who ultimately just wants to move their workload, for whatever reason, to a new location quickly and effectively.

Not just software

An important part of the Veeam portability strategy is that they have thought beyond the technology, with the recent introduction of a new form of licensing, Instance Licensing. Veeam’s traditional model of CPU based licences was fine when all workloads existed in a single virtual environment. However, in an environment where we want workload portability and flexibility, then a licence tied to a static hardware platform is no longer appropriate. Instance licencing addresses this by building the licence model around the workload, the licence then follows it regardless of location, providing the flexibility to move our workload anywhere and know we will be able to continue to protect it for as long as needed.

Simplification is not always about technology, making commercials such as licencing more straightforward is also valuable, as in this case, knowing I just need to have enough licences for my workloads and that I can then protect them regardless of location takes away at least one licensing headache in an organisation!

The art of the portable

Portability of workloads is increasingly a demand for an enterprise’s infrastructure, whether that demand is for today or central to a future strategy, it is only going to grow. We need to be able to move workloads into new environments for many reasons, however, this process has complexity, simplifying it and extracting that complexity away from overstretched enterprise IT teams so they can deliver portability quickly and easily is hugely valuable.

Veeam’s simplify and make it “just work” approach has served them well and it’s good to see them turning that ethos of delivering simplicity and effectiveness to a very modern infrastructure challenge.

You can find the Veeam Cloud Field Day presentations here.

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