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Veeam roadmap: Cloud, containers, virtual VeeamON 2021

The Veeam roadmap seeks to take advantage of trends in data protection, from an increasing use of cloud-based workloads to the need for better cybersecurity.

Veeam Software said its sales have held up well during the pandemic, with a 21% year-over-year increase in annual recurring revenue last quarter.

The backup software vendor also said it has passed 400,000 customers. Veeam claimed 500,000 users have downloaded version 10 of Veeam Backup & Replication since its release in February, a figure that includes the free Community Edition.

Veeam, a privately held company, does not need to disclose its revenue but said it had over $1 billion in annual bookings revenue in 2019 and in January claimed 365,000 customers. Also in January, private equity firm Insight Partners acquired Veeam at a $5 billion valuation.

Veeam wants to build on the gains it made in customers and products in 2020 with a roadmap focused on the cloud, containers and security. In addition, the vendor's VeeamON user conference will be virtual again in 2021, Veeam CTO Danny Allan said.

The growth during the pandemic highlights the "requirement for cloud data management," Allan said.

Headshot of Veeam CTO Danny AllanDanny Allan

Veeam is in a good position to capitalize on trends in the data protection market, said Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. For example, customers are increasingly moving to the cloud and looking for container protection; in September, Veeam acquired Kasten, a Kubernetes backup and disaster recovery provider.

"Veeam has become a lot more enterprise," Bertrand said.

Headshot of ESG's Christophe BertrandChristophe Bertrand

The vendor has released 17 products and updates in 2020. Allan expected Veeam to break 20 releases by the end of 2020. Productivity has not been an issue during the pandemic.

"The challenge really comes on the relationship side," said Allan, who has frequent virtual meetups with other employees in the company.

Allan said 3,000 of Veeam's 4,400 employees normally worked in the office. When the pandemic hit and they shifted to remote work, the company had to learn to collaborate in a new way, for example using Microsoft Teams more.

"It was all digital technologies," said Allan, noting that's likely indicative of the entire industry.

VeeamON goes virtual again

VeeamON went digital in 2020, as did most technology user conferences. VeeamON 2021 had been scheduled for May in Hollywood, Fla., but Veeam has decided early to go completely virtual because it's unclear when everything will open, and rules differ by state.

"It's hard to plan around unpredictability," Allan said.

We've learned a lot this year about virtual events.
Danny AllanCTO, Veeam

The early decision for the Veeam roadmap enables the company to start planning for what it will offer virtually. It has stressed a "live" feel at its virtual events in 2020. For example, "Veeam Live" in October featured several live online presentations and discussions, rather than prerecorded webcasts.

"We've learned a lot this year about virtual events," including the value of live content, Allan said.

Veeam made a good decision to go digital for VeeamON 2021, according to Bertrand. He said he doesn't think there will be large-scale physical conferences until 2022. He suggested companies hold smaller local events in the meantime, when it's safe to do so.

When physical events return, they may not be at the same scope and size, Allan said. In fact, companies can often have a broader reach with virtual events. For example, while a couple thousand people typically attend the physical VeeamON conference, the 2020 virtual edition received 27,000 registrations.

Veeam has not set a date for the virtual VeeamON 2021, but it will likely be in the May timeframe.

Cloud, containers, security top of mind

Regarding products on the Veeam roadmap, the update to its Backup for Microsoft Office 365, featuring enhanced Teams protection, is due by the end of the year. Backup for Google Cloud Platform is also coming soon.

"There is a clear shift in the cloud during the pandemic," Allan said.

After the pandemic, Allan said he expects modest pullback from cloud adoption. Part of the change will require getting smart and more informed about what workloads make sense in the public cloud. Veeam helps with cost forecasting in the cloud.

"The cloud is not a charity," Allan said.

Veeam's integration of Kasten into the cloud data management platform is scheduled for 2021. In November, Kasten launched version 3.0 of its K10 product, featuring support for multicluster Kubernetes deployments and multi-tenant cloud environments. Veeam has said K10 will continue to be available as a standalone product as well.

The Veeam roadmap also includes an update to the flagship Availability Suite, which will launch in early 2021, Allan said. The Availability Suite includes Veeam Backup & Replication and the Veeam One monitoring and reporting tool. Version 11 includes continuous data protection and enables users to configure a Linux repository so it's immutable, which is important for ransomware protection.

"We see a huge interest in security, specifically because of ransomware," Allan said.

Cyberthreats have been prevalent during the pandemic, as attackers seek to exploit weaker cybersecurity in work-from-home environments.

The three priorities of cloud, containers and security on the Veeam roadmap "go hand in hand and are spot on with market trends," Bertrand said. "The cadence of releases has been very impressive this year, so I expect to see the same thing next year."

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