Cloud-based backup services are an easy way for IT service providers to help clients achieve availability of their data, says Warren Olivier, Southern Africa regional manager at Veeam Software — as well as an excellent first step into becoming a cloud provider.
“In the past two years the pace of cloud adoption has accelerated, as more businesses have embraced the promise of increased agility, combined with lower costs and less complexity,” says Olivier.
“This is now extending even to cloud-based availability, disaster recovery and backup solutions — which in turn is making new demands on IT resellers and service providers.”
“It’s clear that the traditional model for IT service providers has reached the end of its life and they need to move towards becoming cloud providers,” says Olivier. “But that’s often easier said than done – few businesses can afford to make massive upfront investments in data centres and other infrastructure. Veeam Cloud Connect (part of Veeam Availability Suite v8) aims specifically to offer our partners an easy onramp to the cloud.”
Uptake has been good so far, he says: “We have already signed up 32 Veeam Cloud Connect partners in South Africa. They are now in a good position to help their clients towards the high levels of availability demanded by the always-on business. This will help them build additional revenue and enter the fast-growing data protection as a service (DPaaS) market.”
Backup and disaster recovery provide a particularly good first step into cloud services, says Olivier: “Everyone needs an offsite backup strategy, and many businesses are becoming aware of the advantages of creating that external site in the cloud. There is also less resistance to overcome because it doesn’t involve any major changes to the way systems are internally organised and managed – there is no feeling that control is being given to a third party.”
Olivier says its possible for a client to switch on a cloud-based backup strategy in 15 minutes, provided they’re already using Veeam to protect their data. “All they need to do is call their service provider, make the agreement and switch it on. It’s that simple.”
Veeam has worked to make its solutions as affordable as they are easy, he says. “High-availability solutions were traditionally far too expensive for the typical small- to medium-sized business to afford,” he says. “We’ve been able to bridge the availability gap by integrating virtualisation, modern storage and the cloud.”
From a service provider perspective things are equally easy: “For those who don’t yet have their own data centres, we have relationships with local and global cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon and VMware to enable our partners to very quickly put the required architecture in place and port their Veeam licences across.”
The big advantage of cloud-based backup services, says Olivier, “is that they’re easy to sell and easy to manage. For partners who are facing the challenge of moving their business into the new world of cloud computing — often under pressure from their customers — it can help to lay the foundations for a much broader cloud strategy.”