As businesses struggle to thwart evolving cyber security threats and deal with unprecedented global challenges, one area they often tend to overlook is data protection and backup. In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Sandeep Bhambure, vice president & managing director, Veeam India & SAARC, explores the pressing need for data protection to keep pace with the current business landscape and how organizations can accelerate their data protection and backup strategy in a cloud-first world.
How do you think COVID-19 has changed the way businesses are looking at their data protection and backup goals?
During the Covid-19 pandemic till now, we have seen corporations aggressively adopting a cloud-first strategy with a strong push on digital transformation. There is a lot of pressure on corporations to look at their backup and data protection strategy. According to Veeam Data Protection Report, 2021, more than 64% of Indian organizations accelerated their DX initiatives. As most companies heavily relied on legacy systems, maintaining operations during the pandemic was challenging. Second, the lack of IT staff skills was recognized by 56% as being a key reason why their DX initiatives were failing. In the last one and a half years, with data explosion and sheer increase in the volume of unmanaged devices, finding the right automated solutions and protecting the endpoint became particularly important to tackle the volume of incoming threats and fortify defenses.
In the current business scenario, where should the CIO/CISOs focus on when building a sound data protection and backup strategy?
The one thing which is constantly in the CIO/CISOs’ mind is how to protect information – including both structured and unstructured data – while accelerating their DX initiatives. One technology I would mention is containerization that has provided a significant boost to application development. As computing and storage rapidly move to the cloud, containers become a vital technology for every modern organization. But organizations need to give serious consideration to storing, backing up and protecting their containerized data. Containers are rapidly spun up and just as quickly torn down, depending on the developers’ goals and specifications. That means containers are essentially temporary and have a relatively short lifespan. Now, what does this mean for data protection? It means that as more enterprises adopt containers, data protection will become an increasingly important issue. Organizations that are now using containers in their testing environment before deploying new applications are discovering that unexpected things can happen to data during that migration and deployment.
For example, while container orchestration tools like Kubernetes are convenient due to their scalability and portability, they can fall short when it comes to data protection. With the acquisition of our partner Kasten last year, the new entity, Kasten by Veeam enhanced support for Kubernetes data protection for the enterprise. Properly backing up your data is particularly important in Kubernetes—and will only become more critical in the months and years ahead.
Another key worry for CIO/CISOs’ is ransomware attacks, which is incessantly on the rise. We believe, the ransomware issue will only get worse as hackers become more sophisticated at compromising data. Veeam is working with its partners to provide customers with a multi-layer approach – including data backup – to defend customers against ransomware.
What according to you is the future of data protection – is it only cloud or a mix of cloud and on-premise?
I don’t think it’s going to be a 100% cloud in the first place. Because not all data can move to come out, we still believe that there are enough efficacy applications as well as workloads that customer customers will choose to keep on-premise. Initially, the workloads that customers can move into Cloud were about, backup data and so on, or long term archival or glacier kind of storage systems, or storage on the cloud. But the future is going to be hybrid, any which ways. Customers will need to protect their information on-premise, in a hybrid cloud, in a multi-cloud or even in SAS. For example, Microsoft Office 365 customers are accelerating on the cloud journey, but for many businesses on-premise will stay.
What is Veeam’s business plan road-map for the next one year?
We want to continue to help our customers as they accelerate on the cloud. And we are helping our customers with delivering on some form outcomes for their business. Say, Birlasoft is one of our key customers, and they deployed Veeam for backing up their on-premise workloads as they were looking for a solution that enables backup for workloads on the cloud as well. They found that Veeam was extremely easy to manage the manpower and the backup maintenance cost was reduced by almost 80%. So for Birlasoft, it was about cost reduction. For Hero MotoCorp, which is the largest two-wheelers manufacturing company, it was more about the speed of backup. So when they implemented Veeam in their setup, we replaced a lot of legacy infrastructure that they had built over the years, which did not help them in terms of the backup and recovery window. So Hero MotoCorp achieved a 75% reduction in the recovery timelines.
What key trends do you see evolving in the data protection space? Where are you heading in the next 12-18 months?
We believe that containers adoption is going to increase very rapidly, particularly among the larger enterprise segment and as I mentioned earlier, our acquisition of Kasten last year, we are taking a very important next step to accommodate our customers’ shift to container adoption in order to protect Kubernetes-native workloads on-premises and across multi-cloud environments.
Veeam will continue to protect users’ cloud, virtual and physical environments. Veeam Backup and Replication V11 will include new capabilities, including native and advanced protection for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, storage repository integration for Kubernetes, and even greater RTO options for Nutanix. One key area now and for the entire next year is protecting customers’ data against the growing ransomware attacks and we are working relentlessly to solve this issue.
In Q3 2021, Veeam’s momentum is being fueled by more than 20 new product releases and major feature updates this year, and going forward, there will also be critical updates to Veeam Agents and Veeam ONE, Veeam Backup for Office 365 and Veeam Disaster Recovery Orchestrator v6. We are in fact looking for more exciting days ahead in the areas of data protection and backup.