Veeam’s Rick Vanover explains the real cost of downtime

Your Customers Expect Your Business to be Always On

Veeam cater for 242,000 customers worldwide and are one of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s strongest partners. We spoke to Rick Vanover, their Director of Technical Product Marketing, ahead of HPE Discover to find out more about a recent study they published about the true cost of IT downtime.

You published a study recently that found unplanned downtime costs enterprises an average $21.8 billion. Aside from the financial impact, what’s the business impact?

The 2017 Veeam Availability Report reveals that organizations across the globe continue to struggle with availability assurance within their IT environments, with the vast majority of organizations lacking levels of confidence in their ability to reliably protect/recover data within their virtual environments. Eighty-two percent of respondents recognized their “Availability Gap,” based on the inadequacies of their recovery capabilities when compared with SLA expectations of their business units, which is consistent with the last two annual surveys. While some organizations are endeavoring to improve, the heightening expectations of the business units, combined with the ever-evolving and diversifying business landscape and the move to heterogeneous and hybrid environments, continue to create challenges in providing adequate service availability.

This causes wider issues for the business in terms of customer and employee confidence. Similarly, three out of four organizations acknowledge that they have a “Protection Gap,” whereby they are unable to protect their data frequently enough to ensure that their business units’ expectations against data loss are met.

As you noted, the ramifications of these inadequacies averaged $21.8M (US) in direct financial costs, but also often resulted in impacts to other modernization efforts, such as virtualization endeavors, embracing cloud capabilities, and broader digital transformation initiatives, as well as a range of indirect consequences:

  • Externally, half of organizations believe that Availability challenges led to loss of customer confidence, as well as impacted brand integrity, reduced stock price, and revocation of licenses/accreditations.
  • Internally, many believe that their Availability challenges led to a loss of employee confidence, as well as a diversion of resources away from long-term or business-critical projects. The findings of this study are consistent with past ESG research and past Veeam Availability Reports, all clearly illustrating that organizations must reconsider their data Availability, protection, and recovery capabilities. A company’s failure to better align these key resiliency capabilities with the expectations of their business constituents will continue to put their organizations at risk and hinder innovation and digital transformation strategies.

IT users in every industry have come to expect an Always-On experience. How do you explain what that looks like to a non-technical C-suite/board member?

It’s not that difficult to explain, actually, because the Always-On expectation for IT exists in their own day-to-day digital lives. When Facebook or Twitter goes down, it instantly makes headlines around the world, and when the home wi-fi goes is on the blink or Netflix is unavailable, family members get agitated fast. People have come to expect a seamless, Always-On digital experience for nearly every aspect of life today, and the business world is no exception. This applies to any organization with a data center today  if the data center is unavailable, the repercussions go much further than internal operations – partners and customers will also be frustrated, damaging the company’s reputation and potentially reducing revenue.

What stands in the way of that for many businesses and what can they do to change that?

Too many organizations are depending on legacy backup to provide availability, and these antiquated systems simply cannot provide the Always-On experience that customers, partners and employees expect. Traditionally, IT performs a backup once a day in the evening, usually to tape. In the event of data loss or a large-scale disaster, the organization could lose nearly an entire day of data. Not only that, it can take hours to recover data and applications from legacy backup systems, an unacceptable availability gap by modern standards.

Instead, organizations need to embrace availability. Veeam leverages advanced storage, virtualization and cloud to provide an RPTO (recovery point and time objective) of 15 minutes or less. No legacy backup system can come close to that kind of performance.

How much is multi-cloud use a barrier to replication and instant recovery?

It doesn’t have to be a barrier, provided one is using a solution like Veeam that provides true availability for multi-cloud. Veeam helps businesses across the globe enable seamless digital life experiences with Veeam Availability Suite for the “Always-On Cloud” by providing:

  • Non-Stop Business Continuity to deliver user confidence that their Digital Life will be available when, where and how they want it. Instantly recover – cross-cloud anything to anywhere. Backup, replication and continuous data protection (CDP) for Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment wherever it is: private, public, managed or SaaS;
  • Digital Transformation Agility provides easy, secure and reliable cross-cloud data management and migration. Choose your Cloud, your way. Veeam delivers a software-defined, hardware and cloud agnostic platform so you can adapt to user requirements as they change;
  • Analytics and Visibility with actionable insights for data management, operational performance and compliance across your entire infrastructure.  Enterprises can now monitor, analyze and act with confidence.  Veeam and its ecosystem of partners provide robust data analytics and discovery, simplified data management, workflow automation and more.

How much is end-point back-up a factor in recovering faster from any kind of downtime?

End-point backup is a critical part of any availability plan, but priority needs to be placed on ensuring that core applications and data, whether they reside in the cloud or on premises, are Always-On. If the VP of Marketing loses their laptop and needs to recover the data that lived on it, that’s a problem. But if a tornado takes down the primary data center, that’s a severe crisis. IT needs to have systems in place to address both scenarios, but the latter is far more critical to ensure the well-being of the organization as a whole.

You made a number of announcements around your Veeam Availability Suite recently – what’s new?

A lot! Here are the highlights:

Veeam Availability Suite v10 drives business continuity and agility to new levels by extending the ‘Always on Cloud’ Availability Platform to manage and protect:

  • Physical servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS);
  • Tier-1 applications and mission-critical workloads with NEW Veeam CDP (continuous data protection), bringing recovery SLAs of seconds using continuous replication to the private or managed cloud;
  • Native object storage support, freeing up costly primary backup storage with policy-driven automated data management to reduce long term retention and compliance costs. This includes broad cloud object storage support with Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure Blob and any S3/Swift compatible storage.

With v10, Veeam offers a complete end-to-end Availability and cross-cloud data management platform for enterprise customers by supporting any workloads (virtual, physical or cloud) on any infrastructure in Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud environments (private, public, managed or SaaS).

Veeam Availability for AWS: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is becoming a popular choice for customers of all sizes. However, Veeam Availability for AWS (delivered through a Veeam – N2WS strategic partnership) is the industry’s first cloud-native, agentless backup and Availability solution designed to protect and recover AWS applications and data helping enterprises reliably move to and manage a Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment. This solution mitigates the risk of losing access to your applications and ensures protection of your AWS data against accidental deletion, malicious activity and outages.

Included in Veeam Availability for AWS:

  • Cloud-native, agentless backup and recovery using native AWS snapshots eliminating complexity and dramatically improving recovery SLAs;
  • Mitigate risk of downtime and data loss for your AWS workloads by decoupling data and storing backups independently from the underlying AWS infrastructure;
  • Take full advantage of powerful and reliable recovery technologies to achieve industry-leading RTOs including instant recovery, granular file and application recovery.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, previously announced and being made generally available today at VeeamON 2017. This solution extends Veeam “Always-On Cloud” Availability Platform to public cloud and physical servers. It builds upon the success of Veeam Endpoint Backup — a product which has been downloaded over one million times since April 2015. This new solution offers features and capabilities designed to ensure Availability for Windows-based physical servers, workstations and endpoints, as well as Windows workloads running in public clouds including Microsoft Azure, AWS and other.

You’re a member of Cloud28+ – what makes an IT marketplace like this so important in delivering on today’s mixed IT needs?

Software vendors today cannot go it alone. Partnerships and alliances are key to success, and Veeam has long bet that if its partners are successful, Veeam will be successful. Without marketplaces like Cloud28+, there’s no way Veeam could possibly create a sales force large enough to address the potential market for availability solutions.

If you’re attending HPE Discover, visit Veeam at Booth 201