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Veeam Sees Partner Opportunity in Orchestration

Veeam is forging ahead with a second generation of its orchestration technology for disaster recovery that could present significant opportunities for the company's partners.

Failing over a complex environment in a disaster recovery situation is a multistep process. Processes and applications must be started in a precise order and spun up on the correct hardware or virtual machines. Orchestration solutions allow organizations to set the order that those automated steps are taken in case of need for a failover.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 hit general availability on Tuesday during the VeeamON 2019 conference in Miami.

Danny Allan, vice president of product strategy for Veeam, said the flagship feature of the new version is that it now allows orchestrated business continuity from backups rather than strictly from replication environments.

"Doing it from backups means you don't have to be running 24x7 in both locations. This now democratizes orchestrated business continuity disaster recovery to the entire customer base, and not only the customer base but the whole industry," Allan said.

Allan described Veeam's vision of the cloud data management journey for customers as about a 10-year process. The first stage are backups protecting all workloads, followed by cloud mobility. Most organizations are in those two stages, Allan said. Because of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies in Europe are slightly ahead of U.S. companies in a third stage, visibility. Relatively few organizations have reached the fourth stage, orchestration, or the final stage, automation, he said.

One Veeam customer that is very interested in the automation tool is Tom Morley of ABM Industries, a large facilities management company. Morley, director of global technology operations and enterprise engineering, is an intensive user of Veeam technologies, but sees orchestration as a 2020 project after a current modernization overhaul is complete.

"As part of modernizing, our weakest spot is probably orchestration across all of our systems," Morley said. "Next year will be about orchestrating all the way down."

Veeam's v2 includes several other new features. Reporting and compliance capabilities have been enhanced to allow organizations to prove with the orchestrator that service-level agreements are being met. The tool also allows the ability to use the orchestrator for purposes aside from recovery, such as DevOps, testing and analytics. Veeam has also added role-based access control to allow for more fine-grained delegation.

Due to the complexity of orchestration environments, Allan sees Veeam's thousands of channel partners playing a significant role. "When you're doing orchestration, that is the automation of business processes. It takes an expert to do. Someone has to design it, probably partners," Allan said.

Cloud service provider iLand, a longtime Veeam partner with a substantial Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) practice, already has its own runbooks for orchestration of customer failovers. However, iLand Senior Vice President for Business Development Dante Orsini is very enthusiastic about some of the opportunities unlocked by v2's ability to orchestrate for non-DR purposes, especially security testing.

"One of the big drivers we see is security," said Orsini, referencing the ability to run vulnerability assessments and penetration tests on a copy of a customer's applications and data. "Now you can do this in a nonintrusive fashion, take a look if there are any challenges and make a plan," Orsini said.

Currently for an organization with 100 applications, the partner would need to find the 100 application owners and involve them in the testing process. With the orchestration, more robust tests could be done safely as a first step, making it necessary to track down only the owners of applications that had major security issues.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 22, 2019 at 10:48 AM


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