[Q&A] Veeam's Doug Hazelman reveals all about the modern data center

In a couple of sentences, why should a business use your service?

Most companies have modernised their data centres using technologies like virtualisation, modern storage and cloud, but they haven’t updated their legacy availability infrastructure. Opting for an effective availability solution allows businesses not only to minimise the risks of loss and the inability to recover data, but also enables them to implement the concept of ‘Always-On Business’ and enjoy all the features and advantages created by the modern data centre.

What are the most common problems faced by your clients? What can Veeam do to solve these?

Competitive businesses cannot afford a moment's downtime as only a few minutes of inactivity, or lack of access to data or applications, can lead to huge losses. As evidence of this, the Veeam Data Center Availability Report 2014 found that limited availability leads to direct losses at an average of more than $2 million in unrecoverable data per year. Companies that have not yet modernised their legacy backup products are finding they’re unable to guarantee their applications are usable 24 hours, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world. Veeam leverages virtualisation, storage, and cloud technologies that enable the modern data centre to help organisations save time, mitigate risks, and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs.

Can you explain to our readers the availability gap?

When we carried out the Veeam Data Center Availability Report one of the interesting findings was that 82 per cent of CIOs admitted that they are not able to satisfy user demands for ubiquitous access to applications and data. This creates an availability gap of what people need and what IT is able to deliver. Businesses should be using tools that have been designed to close this gap and circumvent the risk of losing access to data, files and applications, as well as avoiding downtime, which invariably turns into a financial loss.

What trends do you foresee for the modern data centre?

Ten years ago I don’t think anyone would have predicted where we are today in terms of virtualisation and the cloud, so it’s always difficult to predict what’s going to happen next. What we’re seeing is an increasing appetite from companies to modernise their virtualisation and the cloud systems. As IT systems are deployed, it’s crucial that backup and restore keeps pace with the times and offers instruments that meet the complexity of modern IT systems and prevent data loss before a crisis.

What challenges do you think the sector will face in the next five years? What is Veeam doing to prepare for this?

The current challenge is how best to leverage the cloud, not just for backup and availability but also for running workloads. Today it’s easy to use the cloud for storage and for running primary workloads, but from a long-term archive perspective, it may be not the best option. Having copies of data on-premises so a business is not relying on their cloud provider to provide all the availability is going to be important.

So ultimately I think we’re going to see a reverse of the norm. I think in the next five years it’s going to be less about using the cloud for off-site backups and more about moving data from the cloud to on-premises for long-term storage. If that’s where the industry goes, then it’s up to us to design ways to do that.

Doug Hazelman is Vice President, Product Strategy, and Chief Evangelist at Veeam.