All of the data, all of the clouds

I always enjoy a tech field day presentation especially when I see tech companies I enjoy working are presenting, it was therefore pleasing to see at the recent Cloud Field Day 5 a team from Veeam sharing their Cloud strategy.

When discussing Veeam, cloud is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind, they are often still seen as a traditional on-prem data protection solution and while it’s true they do indeed protect workloads in datacentres this is no longer enough for Veeam or any other serious player in the availability market. Today we need our data and workloads protected regardless of location, we can’t afford for data to be unprotected when it moves to cloud and ideally we don’t want different tools protecting data in different locations, the ideal approach is one single tool that can allow us to protect our data wherever it is.

The crux of Veeam’s presentation was how their cloud strategy could help an enterprise do exactly this and address the many challenges that come with this multi-location world and in true Veeam style, doing this in a way that is both simple and hugely flexible. The presentation was also a really good example of something I discussed on a recent Tech Interviews Podcast with my friend NetApp’s Phoebe Goh(you can find that here) the idea of tactical use of cloud, the premise of which was how technology companies are now seamlessly integrating public cloud into their solutions, allowing their customers to benefit from it via tools and skills that are already familiar to them. This is how we should be able to consume cloud, gaining advantage from its scale, agility and flexible cost models without adding great complexity and cost to our daily operations.

During their CFD presentation Veeam discussed their wide-ranging cloud strategy and I do recommend going to check out those presentations at techfieldday.com/event/cfd5. However, for this post we are going to focus specifically on the cloud mobility part of what was covered.

Cloud mobility, in my opinion, is a core component of the modern data strategy, we need the ability to move data to where we need it, whenever we need it and without compromise. This mobility, however, is hard, there are approaches that can be considered, some need investment in a single ecosystem, a re-architecture of the way we work or via tools that can integrate into what we currently have and orchestrate the mobility of our workloads between locations.

This is Veeam’s approach, but before we discuss further it’s important to realise that the basis of their approach is data protection, their mobility model is not based on moving live workloads but about the flexibility to recover a dataset into any location.

The power behind this flexibility is Veeam’s backup file structure and it is this 041719_1628_Allofthedat1.pngstandard structure that allows the content of the backup file to be accessed and acted upon by a range of tools, regardless of their location or the location of the backup files. These tools can natively read those files and carry out an automated transformation of the data on restore, to allow the workload to then run seamlessly on a different platform, greatly simplifying mobility and providing the flexibility that we demand in our modern infrastructure.

What does this mean to my enterprise? When it comes to planning our modern data strategy flexibility, as we mentioned earlier, is crucial, we want to be able to have flexibility in where our workloads and data are at any given time, we may want too copy a workload and move it into AWS for development, or recover to Azure for DR, we may have developed in public cloud and need to move data back on-prem for production or perhaps just simplify our data availability process, via a familiar set of tools. Delivering this is exactly what Veeam’s cloud mobility strategy enables and opens up the possibility for us to use cloud tactically where we need it without having to introduce significant risk that can often come when we have to redesign business-critical workloads and workflows.

What the CFD presentation showed was how easy Veeam make this, demonstrating how to take a VM backup from a local datacentre and restore it directly into AWS (or Azure) without the need to worry about transformation required to turn an on-prem workload into a native cloud one, the flexibility for Veeam to directly restore to either AWS or Azure, or indeed both, is hugely powerful.

Why should you care? I believe that this kind of flexibility is something that modern architecture demands and however you go about it, it is important to understand why having it is important, we can’t design our modern technology stack to be siloed or restricted in where we run it at any given time, however you go about it, it is important to have mobility as a core part of your strategy.

What Veeam have done really well is to make this process something that can be easily exploited, if you are using Veeam to protect your workloads, regardless of where they are located, it is possible to seamlessly move them between locations and cloud’s as needed. Veeam’s tools are known for “just working” but it is very impressive to see that same ability brought into the more complex multi-cloud world.

If you are considering how to deliver this kind of capability into your architecture then  do check out the Veeam cloud mobility presentation and while there take a look at the discussions on Veeam’s Cloud tier and Native tools to protect AWS workloads, both presentations are fascinating and provide further details on what is a powerful cloud strategy.

You can see all of the Cloud Field Day presentations here.

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