I’m attending Veeam’s VeeamON 2018 here in Chicago this week. I’ve been attending meetings with a number of the company’s executives and have been commenting on them here. Rick Vanover, Veeam’s Director of Technical Product Marketing, and I always have a lively conversation. This time, the topic of conversation was Veeam’s model that the company is calling “Five States of Intelligent Data Management.” I thought that the model is a useful way to think about the transitions enterprises are making to address the always-on, highly distributed computing environment that they find themselves in today.

This conversation riffed off of a presentation made by Danny Allan made that pointed out that: (this snipped comes from an earlier post on VeeamON 2018)

  • People need confidence in their digital lives and need to know that their data is protected. This includes their personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), payment card industry information (PCI), customer data, export-controlled data, financial data and their intellectual property.
  • Allan pointed out that the amount of data each of us creates is growing exponentially and must be protected wherever it is and no matter how it is being stored.
  • He posed the concept of “hyper-availability” that is based upon technology that combines automation with artificial intelligence is going to be the foundation of significant innovation (he called it disruption) in many industries.
  • He then went on to discuss his view of the 5 stages of this process and that many organizations are just at the beginning. He believes, by the way, that this includes a change from policy-based forms of data protection to a behavior-based form. These stages he mentioned are:
  • Stage 1 backup –– this means backing up all workloads to assure that they are recoverable
  • Stage 2 aggregation –– ensure protection and access across multiple cloud services as well as protection of physical data storage in the enterprise data center
  • Stage 3 visibility –– Provide visibility into what is being protected and where it is being stored regardless of where and how it is being stored
  • Stage 4 orchestration –– being able to move data to the best location to ensure continuity, compliance, security and optimal resource utilization
  • Stage 5 automation –– making data self-managing based upon business needs, make it secure itself and recover instantaneously in case of a problem or failure

Allan then went on to point out how Veeam’s product portfolio, combined with technology and services offered by the company’s partners is leading the way to realizing this vision.

Vanover and I had a conversation about how his team is using this model as the focal point of conversations with customer executives.  The model allows the customer and the Veeam representative to have a common point of reference as they discuss:

  • Where the data is currently being used and where is resides
  • What steps the organization has taken to assure that this data is protected, is secure and complies with regulations concerning where data is stored and how it can be used
  • How the organization can use this data to gain better insight into how the company is operating
  • Make it easier and quicker for new applications to be developed at tested
  • Allow the organization to learn more about how their data is being used and reduce the time (and thus the costs) of using that data by orchestrating the collecting of that data, its processing and, hopefully, reduce the number of times that individuals need to be involved in the process

In the end, Vanover and I both agreed that it would be helpful to help the customer representative understand the challenges the organization faces today, the pain those challenges cause and how adopting this new viewpoint would help Veeam and the customer develop and implement strategies to move from a policy-based to a behavior-based approach.