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Veeam extends Azure availability options

Veeam has announced a number of new products and features, giving its customers more flexibility in using Microsoft Azure for back-up and disaster recovery, and for protecting Azure workloads.

Veeam Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure combines Veeam Direct Restore with the new (and free) Veeam PN (Powered Network) tool. It simplifies and automates setting up a disaster recovery site in Azure by using software-defined networking (SDN). Veeam PN is available to customers but is still at the release candidate stage.

This is "hugely valuable for DR in the cloud" because it makes it very simple to divert traffic to the DR site, Veeam vice-president of cloud and alliance strategy Danny Allan (pictured) told iTWire.

Veeam Availability Suite v10 includes native support for using Azure Blobs as a archive tier extent. The idea is to use Azure to reduce the cost of storing older back-ups that are unlikely to be used but must be retained for compliance or other reasons.

"I am most excited about support for object storage in the cloud" on Azure or S3 and compatible services, Allan told iTWire, describing it as "the most significant announcement today" because service providers and larger organisations don't want to expand their own storage just to accommodate older back-ups.

Microsoft's announcement that the Azure disk size limit would be raised from 1TB to 4TB in mid-2017 will allow Veeam virtual appliances to back up four times as much data in Azure storage, making the approach more cost effective.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows is now generally available, allowing the protection of Windows workloads running on Azure, physical servers, or PCs.

Veeam co-founder Ratmir Timashev said the last 12 months had seen an upturn in the movement of mission-critical applications to the cloud, so Veeam needed to protect them.

Or as co-chief executive and president Peter McKay put it, "Increasingly, enterprises are using Microsoft Azure as part of their hybrid cloud move in support of the strategic digital transformation initiatives. Hybrid cloud creates new challenges and opportunities to deliver the digital life experience users expect by ensuring 24x7x365 availability."

"Veeam was born in the era of virtualisation and cloud, so it should come as no surprise that we are leading the way in providing Availability for hybrid-cloud environments," said Veeam global cloud group vice-president Paul Mattes.

"Our close collaboration with Microsoft is enabling us to take full advantage of Microsoft Azure to realise DR in the cloud, direct access to Azure Blob storage and many other benefits that make hybrid-cloud Availability both robust and easy to manage. Together, Veeam and Microsoft are eliminating the hurdles many of our mutual customers have faced in using our technologies for cloud backup and disaster recovery, and as a long-term data archive and retention solution for greatly improved governance and compliance."

Microsoft chief technology officer Mark Russinovich said: "Through a strong collaboration, Microsoft Azure and Veeam customers have enjoyed the benefits of our complementary technologies for some time. Both companies share a vision for reinventing IT for business agility. Today’s announcements will help support our mutual customers’ business critical applications to ensure they can benefit from the enterprise scale, performance and reliability of the Azure cloud platform."

In related news, Veeam also announced Veeam Management Pack v8 u4 with Microsoft Operations Management Suite (MOM) integration. This provides MOM dashboards to monitor on-premises vSphere, Hyper-V and Veeam backup and replication.

Disclosure: The writer attended VeeamOn 2017 as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.