Veeam Extends Data Protection To Microsoft's Azure Stack

Veeam on Wednesday unveiled a new partnership with Microsoft under which the data protection software vendor will extend its capabilities to the Microsoft Azure Stack.

The new integration will make it easier for Veeam customers to protect data residing on the Azure Stack, and to move data out of Azure Stack to the Microsoft Azure cloud or to Veeam, said Paul Mattes, vice president of the Global Cloud Group at Baar, Switzerland-based Veeam.

"As a company, we are committed to multi-cloud capabilities," Mattes told CRN. "We are treating Azure Stack as a cloud. And when we talk cloud, we talk about any application, any data, and any cloud. Azure Stack fits within that framing."

[Related: Veeam Intros First Native Snapshot For Cisco HyperFlex]

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Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft Azure in which the capabilities of the public Azure cloud are brought into a customers' data center via integration on on-premises hardware.

The new Veeam integration with Azure Stack was unveiled at the Microsoft Ignite 2017 event happening this week in Orlando, Fla.

Veeam is starting the integration of its data protection agents in Azure Stack, but in the future will enhance the integration with more integrated support, Mattes said.

"Customers want a common platform across all their clouds," he said. "Veeam is that common data protection platform across physical, virtual, and cloud environments."

That future support includes the ability to manage data protection in Azure Stack via its new Veeam Availability Console, which is currently in release candidate mode and expected to be available soon, Mattes said.

"With the agents, customers don't need Veeam Availability Console," he said. "But for service providers with hundreds and thousands of agents, they will get better management of their environments with Veeam Availability Console."

While service providers can build services around Veeam and Azure Stack, more traditional channel partners who deliver Azure Stack can work with Veeam to deploy a complete solution by marrying Veeam with Azure Stack, Mattes said.

This is a move that Veeam has to do and, fortunately, it is doing so early in the release history of Azure Stack, said Lee Schuenemeyer, design architect for Microsoft, data center, and cloud at Alexander Open Systems, an Overland Park, Kan.-based solution provider and long-time channel partner of both Veeam and Microsoft.

"No matter how cool the tech with Azure Stack, customers will still have to back up their data," Schuenemeyer told CRN.

The Microsoft System Center management suite for Azure does not work in Azure Stack, Schuenemeyer said. However, Azure Stack with Microsoft's Operations Manager and Veeam will help take away the barriers faced by some companies looking to adopt a cloud-first approach with their on-premises infrastructures, he said.

"This will help with the adoption of Azure Stack," he said. "Veeam is a market leader, and the one thing that customers will not have to worry about is backing up data on Azure Stack."

Microsoft Azure has become important for many forward-leading companies, and Veeam availability on Azure Stack will mean more conversations with customers, Schuenemeyer said.

"People want cloud agility, but many see the movement of workloads to the cloud as a risk," he said. "With Azure Stack, customers maintain on-premises access and bandwidth, and can continue working with their compliance tools of choice. And when they're ready, they can push those workloads to Azure. For smaller customers, the entry point for Azure Stack is still high. But mid-sized and larger companies can use it to justify starting their move."

The integration of Veeam with Azure Stack will be important for service providers, said Mike Vencel, executive vice president at Comport Technology Solutions, a Ramsey, N.J.-based solution provider and service providers with a strong focus on the health care industry.

About 75 percent of Comport's customers use Veeam, and the company works with its ComportSecure cloud and Veeam to provide backup and disaster recovery services for clients, Vencel told CRN.

Comport, which is also a platinum-level channel partner with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, plans to use Azure Stack with HPE hardware as both an on-premises offering for clients and as the base of a service, Vencel said.

"Customers want second copies of their data, maybe one in our data center and one in Azure," he said. "With direct backups from Veeam to Azure, we can also port a second copy to ComportSecure. And with Veeam's integration with Azure Stack, we will be really providing a full hybrid environment."