The cuckoo in the nest – why now is the time to remove Veeam.

Cuckoos engage in a nesting behaviour called brood parasitism. They lay their eggs in the nest of another species of bird. With a shorter incubation period and maturity times, the young cuckoo consumes resources meant for others.

Veeam Backup and Restore found its way into Spectrum Protect houses because it solved early-on the problem of VMware data protection, was quick to install, and initial licences could be purchased with the company credit card.

The two products ran side-by-side, often tightly integrated for those who use Spectrum Protect’s tape pools to offload Veeam data for air-gap protection.

This article challenges whether this once seemingly harmonious relationship is still good for Spectrum Protect users in 2022.

Soaring to new heights
Today, many large enterprises list scalability as a key criteria for backup vendor selection. In the early days of virtualisation this was less important than feature capability and ease of use. But, as the popularity of virtual machines has soared to new heights, and the numbers of VMs that businesses are managing has grown to hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands, the scalability and performance of backup systems has become a much higher priority.

In December 2021 IBM released a tech preview of its converged product (also known as OSSM) for Spectrum Protect, allowing Spectrum Protect Plus to backup and recovery directly from container stgpools. With OSSM now due for launch very soon, large VMware installations will get the benefit of a modern, agentless backup software product and a massively scalable data engine with common encryption, compression, and deduplication.

Whilst many VMware backup products struggle to achieve even 2:1 data reduction, IBM’s container pools regularly hit 4:1. By throwing out the Veeam “Cuckoo” many organisations will be able to achieve significantly greater efficiencies thanks to less storage consumption, less compute resources, and less power utilisation.

An albatross around the neck
Another important change is that from July 1st, 2022 Veeam plans to phase out “socket-based” licencing for new users. Its preferred licence model is Veeam Universal Licence (VUL) which is available on subscription (1-to-5-year term) and as a perpetual licence.

With this change Veeam is making licences portable between on-premises and cloud workloads, something which has always been possible with IBM Spectrum Protect.

Whilst existing users can still renew socket-based licencing, to access many of the new features or to protect newer cloud workloads e.g. Cloud AWS, Azure and Google, they will need to migrate to the Universal Licence which uses a “per workload” metric.

Given the sheer number of VM workloads which can be hosted from a single socket this change will have a significant cost implication for many users. In some use-cases, licence fees could double.

While Spectrum Protect Plus is also licenced per VM workload, existing users can leverage their capacity-based licence to reap the benefits of the powerful data reduction technology mentioned earlier. In some scenarios existing Spectrum Protect users could reduce licence costs by 50% when switching from Veeam to Spectrum Protect Plus.

For more on Spectrum Protect licencing, head to this blog post which explains the options.

The early bird catches the worm
In 2022 cyber resiliency has made its way to the top of most companies’ backup evaluation list. With cyber-attacks rapidly increasing in frequency and impact, organisations need to act quickly and decisively to stay ahead. The fact is, it is much more difficult to find malware buried deep within your environment when multiple backup products are in use.

Consolidation of multiple backup products to achieve simplified disaster recovery is the third reason to consider the alternatives to Veeam.

Although Veeam TapeServer is a chargeable option for Veeam Backup and Replication, many Spectrum Protect users store Veeam data in its tape pools for air gap and DR purposes.

Standard security features of Spectrum Protect include external encryption key management, Command Approval, 3rd copy replication and copy to tape or object storage. When combined with Multi-Factor Authentication and Predatar’s recovery automation and cyber orchestration, Spectrum Protect provides far more defences for users than Veeam, which would need a host of chargeable extra modules including:

• Veeam One
• Veeam DR Orchestration
• Veeam SureBackup
• Veeam SecureRestore
• Veeam TapeServer

Flying into the wind
As organisations move to container management software such as Kubernetes or Red Hat Openshift, the multi-product problem will continue to grow for Veeam users. While Spectrum Protect is future-ready, Veeam was built for the virtualisation age and has now acquired yet another product in order to keep pace.

Despite the Veeam badge, Kasten K10 is a completely separate platform. While security best-practices necessitate consolidation and simplification of platforms and processes – a typical Veeam administrator may need to regularly login to five or more different ‘Veeam’ interfaces.

A feather in the cap
Built specifically for IBM Spectrum Protect Suite, Predatar brings the industry’s most advanced cyber resilience reporting capability as well as the most sophisticated recovery automation and orchestration to enterprises.

Acting as a single pane of glass, Predatar helps organisations to cut through the noise of complex backup environments to focus on the risk-factors that could impact their ability to recover, while Predatar’s unique automation and orchestration tools continually scan, test and clean backups in the background, to hunt down and eliminate dormant ransomware in your backup estate.

Four birds. One stone
In summary, there are four big reasons to consider taking flight from Veeam and doubling down on IBM Spectrum Protect Suite.

  1. Efficiency at scale, thanks to IBM’s unrivalled compression and de-dupe performance
  2. Cost savings, thanks to IBMs competitive pricing and comprehensive licencing models
  3. Greater cyber resiliency, thanks to a simplified backup stack and DR automation tools from Predatar.
  4. Future-readiness, thanks to in-build capabilities to handle Redhat Openshift workloads.

If you want to find out more about consolidating your VMware workloads and adding greater resiliency with Predatar you should get in touch with us today, or speak to your IBM Storage rep.

You would be “crazy as a loon” not to.