Veeam introduced yet another new product in 2017, in the form of Veeam PN. When it was first introduced at VeeamON 2017, it was a Release Candidate (although quite functional). Yesterday Veeam announced that the product is now Generally Available (GA), which basically means it is a “true” product.
But, what does this mean for Veeam? For the bulk of Veeam’s life, it has been a data protection company, and it has, and still does, perform exceedingly well in the market. But with Veeam PN, Veeam is now getting into the networking game. But why?
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Veeam has customers of all shape and sizes. They have traditionally been popular in the SMB as they are very cost friendly to get started, and Veeam Backup & Recovery is dead-simple to run. Most SMBs only have a small number of IT staff, so anytime a core requirement (such as data protection) can be performed easily, but more importantly well, it is very attractive. Over time though, Veeam has definitely expanded to large enterprises. Despite being a 10+ year old company in a market sector as old as mainframes, they still see continual growth. So to answer the question above: they introduced a networking product because it is the next logical step.
Whether you work for an organization with multiple physical locations, or if you have a DR site, or if you are leveraging cloud workloads, chances are that your organization uses multiple sites. When disaster strikes, sites can go offline. The scope can vary, but at the end of the day, if you’re trying to restore services at scale, you typically have two options: restore the services to their original location, or restore them to a new location. If you restore to their original location, you’ll likely have a seamless experience after the recovery phase. After all, things will be right where they were prior to the disaster. The downside is that this can take a while if the remote sites have poor bandwidth. If you restore to a new location (Cloud, DR datacenter, etc.), then you are stuck either providing instructions to folks on where / how to access the new data, or you can attempt to create some routing rules to get data flowing. Either way, there is a hassle. That’s where Veeam PN comes in.
ROUTE TO WHERE THE PACKET IS GOING, NOT WHERE IT HAS BEEN
The short of it is Veeam PN will automatically route your packets for you. By using virtual appliances, routes are automatically setup to route packets where they need to go. Say, for example, your file server at Site A goes down. You can use Veeam’s restore to Azure to bring the VM up in Microsoft’s cloud and the folks at Site A will automatically receive the new routing rules to access this restore. Think about that for a moment though … you can restore to a completely different location and grant access automatically. As someone who has to support users, that’s huge.
EXTENDING IT EVEN FURTHER
So this is quite cool. I’m not a huge network guy, so having something take care of those rules for me is excellent. But let’s start thinking about things a larger scale. Everything here on out is just me spitballing… A while back, I wrote a bit of a thought piece about what I would like to see from Veeam Orchestrator once it is released. Now take that and add in Veeam PN. With that added into the mix, you can conceivably come up with a strategy where your data can not only be backed up regardless of where it is, but you’ll be able to restore it, and more importantly, be able to route users to it automatically. That would be impressive.