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“Data Sovereignty is Obviously a big one as People Understand their Data is Critical”

Anthony Spiteri leads Service Provider products and partners program at Veeam. Speaking to Enterprise IT World, Spiteri talks about the product line up, the outlook of the company and the role Veeam has played in pushing Cloud adoption. In an interview with Enterprise IT, he speaks about a range of topics- including Kasten K10 by Veeam, partner program, back up and data recovery for containers and for open-source platforms. Read on to know more the company’s initiatives…

Why do you think the migration from VMware to Red Hat environment taking place?
The evolving open source and cloud native world has made people cognizant about different software available in the market. Red Hat distinctively created an opportunity for themselves in this space and wielded it to their advantage. One of the major reasons for the migration from VMware is the fact that the Red Hat platform is based on KVM. Plus, they have created and developed flagship platforms like OpenShift, OpenStack and Red Hat Virtualization for the users, offering them the best capabilities available in the market. Apart from that, VMware has become too expensive and it’s difficult to justify the cost anymore. This could be another reason contributing to the migration, as Red Hat solutions are priced lower as compared to VMware.

Customers and CIOs are moving back from public to private cloud owing to hypervisors and the availability of new technologies. Is Veeam marking this lc as well?
Yes, I began to see this shift five plus years ago when I worked for a service provider. And today, the shift is primarily centered around the technology currently available on premises – if consuming services on premises provides the same experience as that of a cloud then why would customers opt for the latter option which is priced steeply. Apart from the commercial aspect, other factors such as the rise of infrastructure as code, API’s, automation, and software as a service have also driven a lot of people back to on premises – that’s where the multi cloud comes into play. Another concept that has gained traction is Data sovereignty as people have started to understand their data is critical and in certain regions regulatory or otherwise, they prefer to keep their data on premises. This has led to the whole notion of everything in cloud to disappear as people have realized they can have the benefit of both on premises and cloud-based platforms.

So, you’re of the opinion that it will be a hybrid one?
Absolutely, hybrid multi cloud. Public cloud players pushed a lot of their marketing on moving from CapEx to OPEX but effectively today, everything is as a service—even at Veeam.

While your roadmap for 2021 includes multiple products, is Veeam Availability Suite Version 11 the primary focus for the brand?
Yes. That’s right. Everything kind of focuses on that. We wouldn’t be anything without the Veeam Availability Suite because that is central to everything that we do from a hypervisor perspective. However, the backup for public cloud is equally important too as that’s an area that hasn’t been tapped to its full potential as yet.

The growth of Kubernetes container technologies is very evident. Which one is important to Veeam?
The short answer is every platform. Kasten K10 is beautiful because it installs across almost every Kubernetes platform including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud and other public cloud. Kasten K10 is a Kubernetes deployment, so it deploys as an application inside Kubernetes with multiple containers and the product is portable. In fact, we don’t worry about the platform, from a Veeam Backup and Replication point of view, because it is agnostic.

Purpose-built for Kubernetes, Kasten K10 provides enterprise operations teams an easy-to-use, scalable, and secure system for backup/restore, disaster recovery, and mobility of Kubernetes applications.  It automatically and seamlessly discovers complex Kubernetes applications and all related dependencies. Essentially, we want to ensure that Veeam is central when customers start shifting to containers on mass.

“We are never going to pretend to be a company that will say it can detect ransomware beforehand because that’s almost impossible.” Anthony Spiteri: Senior Global Technologist, Product Strategy, Veeam Software

Here’s a question on behalf of the CIOs. When a service provider releases new update its challenging for customers to upgrade immediately. Customers complain VM is not supportive of the newer version. What are your thoughts? 
Generally, any software that upgrades pose challenges and a lot of planning goes into new updates by a company. I would never advocate people upgrading straightaway, I rather that they go through certain testing procedure.  Although this completely depends on the scale and capabilities of the company.

At Veeam, we have 1 million active Veeam Backup & Replication installations making it the most widely deployed Enterprise backup software in the world. We focus on reliability; hence we have a very strong QI team that ensures that most of the issues are resolved before product is passed to GA.  With Veeam backup and replication, 99 times out of 100, users get a very smooth upgrade as it comes with an in-place upgrade model.

How do you create awareness that data backup, storage and replication is different from a security posture of a company.
We are never going to pretend to be a company that says it can detect ransomware beforehand because that’s almost impossible. From a security perspective, we have been very strong on that front and it is evident from the new product features and the fact that we leverage immutability, multi factor authentication and SSO for logins. So, in that sense, security is still key to what we do we because we can’t release a product that’s not secure. Security as a whole is a bigger conversation, as that includes education, good behavior, and bigger plans to recover data, processes in place for reporting.

What is the kind of growth you are seeing in the partner space?
There was about 20 to 25% growth year on year in our main cloud service provider number – Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) number. We have a strong partner ecosystem and breadth of integration and our partner community is conjoined marries with the VMware community.  Veeam is big on building unique partnerships that allow us to offer smart services that drive profitability and growth for both parties. We always want to support our partners and we always advocate our support through all our new product updates and launches. If we look back at Veeam Backup & Replication™ v11, which was launched in Q1 this year, we can see how our new product enables businesses to leverage the features as part of a complete data protection solution.

Veeam’s collaboration with partners is the key ingredient for global business growth and for our goal to deliver the best Availability solution on the market. We are also working towards establishing a stronger presence in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, and Bangladesh regions with the aim to further expand our reach in the SAARC region.

What are your views on API integration and partner opportunity?
Automation infrastructure is cloud native and the way we consume technology has fundamentally shifted over the past two to four years. Anything that you can do through code in a repeatable way is important, hence enterprise and providers are working towards developing something repeatable as this to a large extent eliminates the possibilities of a human error. However, the ability to configure, adjust and report is equally important, which is why, Veeam has been very focused on releasing modern API’s. Releasing good API allows you to circumvent the console and customers don’t have to log into an interface to get the information, providing them easy access to the data and enabling them to ingest data into a third-party tool which extends the capability of the products completely.

Any forecast or growth projections you have for a particular market segment…
We are focusing on government worldwide. We are certainly looking to do more with the American government department of defense. All verticals are equal at the moment as we offer such a wide array of tools that it’s never one that’s going to dominate over the other. We rely on our partners and their interaction with their own customers. That’s what drives the vertical for us.

Any message that you would like to give out to the customers and CIOs?
I would recommend the CIOs and customers to first always examine their data as a whole, this will parallelly help them understand and identify the areas where majority of their workload is present. Over and above that, they should also understand the category of criticality that is required for the data as this will help them drive the backup. All in all, the criticality aspect of every component of data should be considered as a unique and a standard approach or treatment should not be adopted for all. The wide variety of technologies available on our platform enable users to get smart and take all these aspects into consideration and be able to backup, replicate, and do more with the product to get better outcomes.

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