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Veeam restoration in Azure reflects IT's hybrid cloud shift

Veeam Software is advancing the notion of hybrid deployments by providing customers an appliance for direct restores of VMware or Hyper-V workloads in Microsoft Azure.

Veeam Software's new restoration service puts greater faith in the public cloud for on-premises workloads and highlights another step in the slow march toward hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Veeam Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure is a new pre-configured appliance to restore or migrate Windows- or VMware-based virtual machines to Microsoft's hyper-scale public cloud. Customers of the Baar, Switzerland-based vendor can already store backups in Azure with Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise, but this new direct restore service provides a more on-demand option for disaster recovery.

Extri:co, a Veeam customer and reseller in Herning, Denmark, already provides backups in Azure. This appliance is an attractive option because subscription customers gain the flexibility to have the most important on-premises workloads easily and quickly spun up in Azure VMs, said Michael Thorstensen, an IT infrastructure consultant and co-owner of extri:co.

"For some of our customers, this is quite critical to have this option," Thorstensen said.

VMware and Microsoft offer disaster recovery services that connect on-premises workloads to their public clouds. However, using Microsoft can be more complex and requires more on-premises servers to work through the System Center, according to Thorstensen. Another benefit of the Veeam appliance, he added, is that Azure provides better scalability than vCloud Air and taps into vastly greater resources, which is an attractive option for hybrid cloud deployments.

The appliance is available as a free preview in the Azure Marketplace for users to restore backups from the free versions of Veeam Backup and Replication and Veeam Endpoint Backup. A fuller version will be integrated into future iterations of the paid version of Veeam Backup and Replication. In addition to VMs, customers can use the appliance for physical servers or endpoints. It can also be used for planned migrations to the cloud and for Azure-based test environments.

VMware users continue to be the largest driver for Veeam, but Hyper-V has spurred a growing base of larger customers. The service is limited to Azure and builds off an existing relationship with Microsoft, but Veeam isn't ruling out extending the service to other public clouds.

This new Veeam product is part of a broader trend that indicates simply backing up a load is not enough, said Henry Baltazar, research director of storage at 451 Research in New York.

"People have been buying backup forever," Baltazar said. "Just having backup to restore is great, but to make these things more transformative, people have been looking at this more hybrid angle."

Disaster recovery as a service and actual cloud failover is still a market in its early stages and several other hosting providers are trying to do similar things to Veeam, including Zerto. The first step was a move away from tape, but now the market is moving to where customers will actively trust the cloud to serve as a proxy as IT pros fix problems on the back end, Baltazar said.

Backing up not only to a cloud, but to a large-scale platform like Azure, is a sign of the market's growing acceptance of public cloud resources, Baltazar said. Talk of everything being in the cloud is likely over-hyped, so new services like this one from Veeam are trying to tackle this long transition.

"At the end of the road, it's not going to be 100% on-premises and it's not going to be 100% cloud," he said. "Everything is going to be hybrid -- and how we get to that is the challenge today."

Trevor Jones is a news writer with TechTarget's Data Center and Virtualization media group. Contact him at [email protected].

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