Veeam gets into the backup-as-a-service game for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

Veeam Software Inc. Wednesday announced a couple of new offerings in the backup-as-a-service market: Cirrus by Veeam for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure.

I had a chance to get a pre-briefing with Veeam Chief Technology Officer Danny Allan and asked him what was behind this move. He said it’s primarily about giving customers the flexibility to choose how they want to use Veeam to protect their business whether it’s in the cloud, on-premises or a combination of both.

“We’re seeing a major change in consumption preference,” he told me. “If you go to our customers right now, more than 50% of them want to backup — especially their SaaS services — with an as-a-service solution.”

Veeam’s entry into this marketplace was made possible when it acquired Cirrus from CT4. CT4 developed this cloud-native service on top of Veeam’s data backup and ransomware recovery platform, so it was a natural fit.

Allan told me that customers can buy this new offering directly from Veeam, and the company also intends to make it available for its Veeam Cloud service providers and VARs. The “Cirrus by Veeam” moniker should disappear early next year as Veeam completes the migration of backend systems.

“The Cirrus technology is fully cloud-native,” Allan said. “It runs within Microsoft Azure Functions. Azure Functions writes the metadata within Azure SQL Server. It’s a fully multitenant cloud-native service. And what we did is we acquired the assets behind that, as well as the team that was running the Cirrus technology.”

Cirrus gives on-premises Veeam customers three options: deploy in the cloud, deploy with a service provider or consume it as a service. Let’s look at what’s in these new offerings.

Cirrus for Microsoft 365 shifts the company’s on-premises Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 including Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, to the cloud and delivers it as a service. The cloud service includes customizable backup, flexible recovery options and powerful search capabilities. The company says it simplifies Microsoft 365 backup and bundles it at one price. Interestingly, Allan tells me this is the first Japanese-localized product Veeam has released.

Cirrus Cloud Protect for Microsoft Azure is a fully hosted and preconfigured backup and recovery solution. The company touts the shorter time to value because it removes time-consuming tasks such as implementation, patching and remediating misconfigurations. The solution also utilizes backup, security and FinOps best practices built for the Azure Well-Architected Framework. In addition, the company says, Cirrus Cloud Protect for Microsoft Azure boasts customizable recovery point objectives and recovery to any location.

Allan says the company remains committed to its Veeam cloud service providers.

“It is very important to us that our VCSPs continue with us on the journey,” he told me. “When we first enabled customers to send backups into the cloud, we only enabled them to send it to our VCSPs — we called it ‘Cloud Connect.’ And then, about two or three years ago, we added the ability to tier it into the hyperscale public cloud, and everyone thought, ‘Oh, the VCSP business is going away. Everyone’s going to send it to the public cloud.'”

Allan said that’s not the case. “There’s still data going to our VCSPs and some into AWS and Azure,” he said. “And I expect VCSPs will continue to play a very big role in our future.”

The company says these Cirrus offerings are available in the Azure Marketplace and other Veeam and Cirrus distribution channels. It expects to announce additional markets soon, along with the Veeam-badged backup-as-a-service offerings in early 2024.

Veeam says it has 450,000 customers and is the top global provider of data protection and ransomware recovery, so its move into this market segment is a good fit. It will be interesting to follow the Cirrus integration and whether the company starts offering backup services for Salesforce or any other cloud-based services.

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.