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VMblog Expert Interview: Veeam Discusses Findings from Its 2021 Cloud Protection Trends Report


Traditionally, the responsibility for backup has fallen on the data protection team under central IT; however, the cloud is changing this.  Veeam recently conducted a new research report on 2021 cloud trends, and found a wide variance in which teams are involved in determining data protection strategy and requirements for public cloud resources.  With the growth of hybrid cloud, new faces are coming into the mix to ensure backups and recoveries are operating efficiently and deploying the best data protection strategies and requirements.

To learn more about their findings, VMblog spoke with Dave Russell, Vice President of Enterprise Strategy at Veeam.

VMblog:  Veeam recently released its 2021 Cloud Trends Report. What topics does the independent study cover and why is it relevant?

Dave Russell:  One of the most transformational modernizations of "production" IT is the utilization of cloud-based services in lieu of, or in supplement to, traditional servers within data centers. The Veeam 2021 Cloud Protection Trends Report was created to help us understand how the enterprise IT landscape approaches cloud-based production IT and the ramifications for data protection strategies moving forward. This includes how organizations expect to be prepared for the myriad of IT challenges they face, including hybrid cloud solutions, disaster recovery initiatives, as well as SaaS and container usage.

Veeam sponsored the research, which was conducted by an independent analyst firm, to better understand the market landscape and current trends impacting the IT environment.

VMblog:  Who did the survey study?

Russell:  1,550 responses were received from unbiased IT decision makers from enterprise and commercial organizations across 14 countries. Respondents are responsible for IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and backup in the regions of AsiaPac, Europe, North America and South America. The responses were used to assess the challenges, drivers and backup considerations among IaaS, PaaS and SaaS personas.

VMblog:  And what did the survey find?

Russell:  Our findings dug into the realities of hybrid cloud, data protection and disaster recovery in cloud-hosted infrastructure, SaaS-based applications, and Containers.

The report found that COVID accelerated IT modernization, including the usage of multiple cloud-hosted IT delivery models including IaaS for Production, IaaS for Disaster Recovery, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Containers. The use of physical servers within data centers decreased 9% from 2020 to 2021 and respondents expected that to decline further in the future. We don't see evidence that this is a transition that will phase out data centers -- hybrid cloud is growing not at the expense of the modern data center, but in addition to.

Only 3 of 5 cloud-hosted servers were migrated from the data center, and 58% of respondents have developed workloads in the cloud that they planned to run in a data center. The IT world will continue to be undeniably hybrid from here on out, with a mix of physical, virtual, and hosted for the foreseeable, extended future.

VMblog:  Were there any big revelations uncovered by this research?

Russell:  Cloud usage is changing who is responsible for data protection within an organization. With the growth of hybrid cloud, new faces come into the mix to ensure backups and recoveries are operating efficiently, being deployed according to best practices, and meeting requirements. As traditional IT solution stacks evolve toward PaaS (microservices and containers) and SaaS, the owners of those services are taking a vested interest in backup and recovery capability. This represents an expansion of the roles that are concerned with backup and availability.

While the majority of respondents (66% of IaaS admins and 64% of Backup admins) said that the same individuals who manage on-prem backups also manage cloud backups, over one-third of respondents in each category said the same individuals who manage cloud-hosting also manage cloud backups. Around one-tenth of respondents said different individuals managed on-prem and cloud backups within a dedicated backup team, while a similar number did not back up data from public cloud-hosted infrastructure at all.  

When it comes to teams within an organization, IaaS and backup admins weighed in on which teams are getting involved. Interestingly, in addition to the central IT team (63% of IaaS admins and 54% of backup admins) and cloud decision-making team (56% of IaaS admins and 55% of backup admins), we also saw application owners/administrators becoming involved with data protection strategy (35% of IaaS admins and 36% of backup admins) ahead of even the data protection team (34% of IaaS admins and 33% of backup admins) and compliance & governance teams (18% of IaaS admins and 19% of backup admins).

VMblog:  What was most interesting about the findings and why?

Russell:  Hybrid IT is here.  But the number of respondents that have been using the cloud in production for over two years is very high at 41%, so the cloud is not new. Additionally, the cloud is already being heavily used for production workloads now, with 55% using the cloud for "Normal" production and 47% using the cloud for "High-priority" production workloads. Development workloads were also high at 36% of those surveyed. Cloud backup tends to be more well understood and deployed, but cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) remains complex, with networking in particular being the greatest challenge; especially at scale.

VMblog:  How are you planning to incorporate this research at Veeam? Were any problems or opportunities uncovered that you are addressing?

Russell:  Data is moving and organizations will need the flexibility to protect their data regardless of physical location, hypervisor or application. Protecting, recovering, and managing that data is where Veeam can help. We are using the report to guide our strategy as we strive to be the top provider of backup solutions for modern data protection in the market for on-prem virtual, physical, container-based workloads, as well as for SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and container-based workloads. Also, Veeam plans to continue support for data portability and cloud mobility such that data gravity concerns can be reduced or even eliminated.

Cloud-based IT is inevitable for almost every organization, though unlike every IT generation before, there is not one "modern" architecture. Having the proper cloud architecture and ability to readiness verification is crucial to success. To help with this, Veeam offers a modular approach to cloud-native backup as either a single platform for centralized multi-cloud data protection or a standalone solution for major cloud providers AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

VMblog:  Finally, where can readers go to learn more about the survey results?

Russell:  You can read and download the full report at

Published Wednesday, September 15, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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