Ronald Ooms, Veeam: Total solution data protection more necessary than ever

We don’t have data for fun; we extract information from it with which we run a business. “What good is a computer system without data protection?” wonders Veeam director Ronald Ooms. According to him, many organizations find backup and disaster recovery mainly ‘boring’. “In modern, hybrid IT environments with more and more cloud applications, more awareness is needed. Your backup is also being attacked these days. The market needs total protection.”

Adequate protection of data against ransomware attacks and rapid recovery in the event of data loss; according to Ronald Ooms it is all necessary more than ever. Good data security requires a total solution, says the Vice President EMEA BACH at Veeam Software, who continues to insist on more ‘awareness’. “Growing security risks, rapid adoption of the cloud (leaving end users with data in more and more different places) and continued lack of priority from end users have created a very shaky situation that can lead to data gaps, security vulnerabilities and loss of productivity,” he warns.

Veeam’s platform
With the Veeam Modern Data Protection Platform, IT decision makers can solve these problems. The platform ensures business continuity by protecting valuable business data anytime, anywhere, and is a complete solution for securing data created and stored by physically installed applications as well as cloud and virtualization applications. The platform is ‘strategically interesting’ for SMEs, where Veeam was successful soon after its foundation in 2006, but also for enterprise organizations, which, according to Ooms, are moving just as well towards the cloud, SaaS and the use of software-defined data centers. “Banks and insurers, for example, which are traditionally more cautious with the cloud. The cloud is now also ‘the way to go’ for them, but the condition is that data protection is really in order everywhere: in the cloud, but also in the legacy and virtual environments that these larger companies still run.”

With Veeam’s security platform, organizations meet this requirement, because the platform can support all types of environments: physical, virtual and cloud (private, public and hybrid). This is due to a unique feature: data portability. Ooms: “It makes no difference to us how you make a backup: from physical to virtual or vice versa, or from physical to cloud. Users can easily take their data with them everywhere they go. Back up to MS Azure and then restore it on-premises? No problem. But it is also possible to back up a physical environment in MS Azure and restore it there. You are very easily secured, because if your physical environment is broken, you just continue in the cloud. You can also switch from, for example, MS Azure to AWS. You take your backup with you, restore it in such a new environment and are up-to-speed again very quickly.”

According to Ooms, there is a lack of awareness in the market, especially when it comes to recovery. “People do their best to keep ransomware out, but are much less concerned about the question: what if it does go wrong? Defense is super important, but if the backup works ‘in principle well’, the recovery chapter is often forgotten. Organizations are insufficiently aware that criminals are also attacking backups these days. In fact, they start with that.”

Ronald Ooms compares it with the police hallmark of Safe Living. “With safety strips and locks you keep burglars out. In addition, most people have home contents insurance. But they forget to regularly check whether the policy is still up to date after all kinds of new purchases. IT environments are also constantly changing. A new web store will be added, new automated services will be added. But the backup and recovery strategy is not adjusted accordingly. We extract sales opportunities from sales systems and from a medical system we extract important and privacy-sensitive patient data, but we think too little about how we also keep new applications and the data generated by them available.”

Cloud protection
Veeam is currently getting a lot of questions from IT directors and also IT service providers about backup modernizations. “Outdated solutions have to be adapted or replaced due to a cloud corridor or, for example, a switch to Kubernetes,” explains Ooms. “We see a lot of demand for cloud protection: how do we get to Azure, AWS or another public cloud securely? If an organization ends up in a different network environment, so outside its own network, that is not ‘just create a VM’. Recovery also becomes more complex as more is run in the cloud. Part of an environment still runs on-premises, another part is in different clouds, maybe there is some Office 365, SalesForce or SAP4HANA, and then there is a bit of SaaS. How do you keep such a modern, completely hybrid IT environment continuously available? In the perception of many IT decision-makers, the cloud is the ‘holy grale’ that solves all problems, but if your data security is not properly arranged – and by no means everyone realizes that you also have to do everything yourself in the cloud – then the cloud solves more problems than it solves.”

In order to keep data always available in a modern, hybrid and therefore increasingly complex IT environment, Ooms believes it is important to centralize data, or – if that is not possible – to ensure that you make a single backup of different environments. in one location. “With our platform, organizations improve data management and also automate disaster recovery orchestration.”

Hardware agnostic
The great thing about Veeam’s platform is that it’s hardware agnostic. “Our software-defined solution is suitable for any hardware supplier”, concludes Ooms. “We work closely with suppliers such as HPE, NetApp, Cloudian, Red Hat and of course VMware, and with software parties such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and AWS. Our partner landscape is expanding as we offer APIs that allow Veeam to deeply integrate with these providers’ systems. An API is a kind of ‘hand shake’, a tool that a supplier can pick up so that we can do great things together. By regularly developing new APIs, we continue to comply with (open) standards and keep our ecosystem up to date. Working together and constantly being informed of each other’s developments, that is the strength of Veeam. Just like the input from our partners, of course, because our Veeam Accredited Service Partners (VASPs) certainly have the knowledge and expertise to process our solution in a certified and controlled manner in any desired (customized) final solution.”

Author: Jeroen Bordewijk

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