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Veeam Plans New Portal To Ease DRaaS Rollouts for Partners

Backup and disaster recovery (DR) software provider Veeam is looking to make it easier for traditional partners to become Backup-as-a-Service providers with a new cloud-based tool consisting of a multitenant portal for provisioning, monitoring, managing and billing for data protection services.

The company announced its new Veeam Managed Backup Portal at the partner track of its VeeamON conference, which is taking place this week in Las Vegas. The portal is scheduled for release next quarter but Veeam is not yet disclosing pricing. The announcement comes a year after Veeam launched its Cloud Connect tool, which allows MSPs to become backup providers, as well, and is intended to fill a gap for partners seeking a complete service provider offering.

By adding the new portal -- which Veeam will offer in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace -- traditional resellers and VARs that haven't offered managed services can do so, said Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev, who revealed the new offering during Monday's VeeamON keynote.

"It's a portal designed for channel partners to start offering additional backup and disaster recovery services," Timashev said. "It's basically a business in a box. It offers everything you need to offer additional services to your customers."

Partners can monitor and manage customers' backup jobs though a single port via SSL/TLS connections, meaning the product doesn't require a VPN connection. Customers also have access to their own tenants on the portal for their own accounts, letting them monitor their backup jobs, track usage and costs, and set up users. Tenants in the portal are viewed in the Veeam Backup & Replication interface, which provides visibility and management of the backup infrastructure.

About 1,000 partners have rolled out Cloud Connect since its launch last year, Veeam announced. Cloud backup and DR is key to the future of data protection, according to industry analysts. Overall, Veeam, which doesn't sell direct to customers, has 34,500 partners worldwide, of which approximately 10,000 provision services. Without the portal, partners using Cloud Connect need to provide access through a plug-in to remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms from either Kaseya or LabTech. The portal aims to give access to those partners with other RMM platforms or those who don't have one at all, explained Doug Hazelman, Veeam's senior director of product strategy.

Not only does Veeam want more partners, it also wants those who can sell into large enterprise accounts. To do so, Veeam plans to add more national sales account managers, who will be charged with tapping the company's alliance partners (Cisco, EMC, HP, Microsoft, NetApp and VMware), said Jim Tedesco, Veeam's senior vice president of North America sales, in an interview at this week's conference.

"The main thing is these enterprises are modernizing their datacenters by increasing the virtualization spend or footprint with hardware from HP, Cisco, NetApp or EMC," Tedesco said. "It's a matter of how do we provide them with a strategy around the software Veeam provides so data is backed up with snapshot technology, those backups are tested 100 percent of the time, patches are tested before they go into the production, and if there is a failure of a service or VM or of someone inadvertently -- though human error -- deletes something in Active Directory, they can immediately restore it with guaranteed RTOs of 15 or minutes or less. That's the message we want to deliver to those channel partners because we're are all about the outcome, which is the modernization of the datacenter with an always-on type of mindset."

In a highly competitive market saturated with both incumbent and new suppliers of backup, recovery and DR solutions, Veeam continues to make huge inroads in midsized organizations with large amounts of VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized infrastructures. "They're the ones to beat," said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Jason Buffington, noting that while offering backup and DR as a Service (DRaaS) can be a large opportunity for partners, it's not for everyone.

"There's a lot of resellers out there who might have some aspiration of offering Backup as a Service and going from being a brick-and-mortar to a service provider, but honestly, not every reseller should," Buffington said. "It's a very different business model, and just because you're good at deployments and problem resolution, [it] may not be you're the best ones suited or have an appetite for lifting up your own infrastructure and delivering on that."

Veeam's new portal to enable partners to offer DR and Backup as a Service, as well as its push into larger enterprises, comes as the company prepares to deliver the next version of its flagship product. The Veeam Availability Suite v9 is set for release this quarter. The new version will offer an unlimited scale-out repository in one backup from any of the storage devices of its alliance partners, and will support real-time and point recovery objectives within 15 minutes.

A year after launching a free tool that allows users to back up any physical Windows Server, Veeam announced a similar offering for Linux servers. The two are similar, though the Linux version is optimized for backing up to the cloud, said Hazelman.

"We are targeting cloud, because if you're running Linux workloads in the cloud, you want an easy way to back them up," Hazelman said, making no secret that Veeam is looking to take on some of its larger rivals, such as CommVault, IBM and Veritas (the company that Symantec is spinning off and the provider of Backup Exec and NetBackup). "We've been having a lot of success," he said. "There's been several instances where our new license cost is less than the maintenance renewal for their existing software, and yet we have even greater capabilities."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.