Veeam announces strategic partnership with Microsoft to integrate Copilot and AI services

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

Veeam Inc., which already protects some 18 million Microsoft 365 users is extending its partnership with Microsoft Corp. to develop joint AI solutions for its data protection and ransomware recovery platform.

In an announcement today, the company said its engineering collaboration will result in capabilities to help keep organizations running despite attacks, outages and natural disasters.

In a prebriefing, Dave Russell, vice president of enterprise strategy at Veeam, told me this new partnership builds on the recent Veeam-as-a-service on Azure announcement, called Veeam Data Cloud. “The idea here now is if we’re on Azure, we wanted to look at how we could extend that,” he said. “Microsoft and Veeam are aligned on joint business goals for Veeam Data Cloud and are agreed on the go-to-market plan and activities that result in those business outcomes. The initial two workloads are going to be M365 and Azure-based workloads. We’ve got a roadmap for extending the rest of current Veeam capabilities.”

Those workloads are obvious starting points as Microsoft is comfortable selling those products, and Veeam has a wealth of experience backing them up. However, the joint development between Veeam and Microsoft is just getting going. “Initially, we’re going to focus on ways to bring Copilot from Microsoft into Microsoft 365 protection use cases,” Russell told me. “We’re focused on things like understanding how you can make better data-driven decisions and get insights to enhance the administrative operations.”

Within the value-add AI use cases, he added, it’s also focused on elements of the Microsoft 365 data estate, including tracking new files, objects and users, as well as site dynamics, creation and site changes to help the M365 admin understand what data, files and sites are not protected. This will help customers keep their environments fully protected.

Looking at the specifics of the partnership. It includes:

  • Joint development to enhance Veeam backup and recovery solutions with AI capabilities, including integrating Microsoft Copilot for automated data analysis, cost-effective AI-powered insights, and simplified data visualization.
  • Integration with the latest application programming interfaces for Microsoft 365 Backup Storage to facilitate faster backup and restore operations within Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365.
  • Collaborative marketing activities to promote Veeam’s protection and recovery offerings to customers of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure.
  • Introduction of Veeam backup and recovery features tailored for Microsoft Azure.
  • Simplification of on-premises customer migration to the Veeam Data Cloud hosted on Azure.
  • Migration and protection of Azure Kubernetes Services facilitated through Kasten by Veeam.

Veeam offers a comprehensive suite of tools to assist customers in safeguarding and restoring Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure data, including:

  • Protection of critical Microsoft 365 applications and data against cyber threats through access-controlled, logically air-gapped and immutable backups, ensuring swift and reliable recovery.
  • Flexible recovery options and rapid recoverability so businesses can resume operations promptly (Veeam has 50 different restore capabilities for Microsoft 365), complemented by advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities.
  • Unified protection for Microsoft-hosted infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service data through a user-friendly web console, scalable to meet the needs of large enterprises.
  • Rapid deployment and policy-driven automation that initiates data protection within minutes, offering numerous recovery options for enhanced resilience.
  • Cost-effective storage of compressed backups on Azure Blob storage, contributing to lower total cost of ownership without compromising durability.

Russell thinks there’s an element of democratization at play with this partnership, harking back to the rush to Microsoft 365 during the pandemic.

“We’re offering the ‘easy button,’” he told me. “It’s a little bit like a replay of that burst to M365 in the pandemic. How can you quickly onboard a capability without having to do research, evaluate solutions, stand something up, and get an administrator who’s already overtaxed doing yet another thing? The reason you went to as-a-service for production is similar to as-a-service for protection. And now we just want to take that further, again, with things like Copilot and offering more insights.”

Some final thoughts

Microsoft’s decision to work with Veeam is a logical one given Veeam is now the market share leader in backup and recovery and has been backing up Microsoft services longer than anyone.

I also think it’s interesting for Microsoft, as a cloud provider, to be linking so closely with Veeam. I’ve written before about how customers believe their data is secure simply because they’re running in the cloud. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. But I applaud Microsoft for essentially saying, “You do need to back up, and we’re going to help you do that.”

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.