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Veritas To Move Archiving Service to Microsoft Azure

Veritas is migrating its Enterprise Vault.cloud data archiving service from its own managed datacenters to Microsoft Azure. The move to outsource EV.cloud is part of a global multiyear partnership announced today by Veritas to optimize its portfolio of data protection offerings for hybrid cloud environments using the public Microsoft Azure cloud storage as backup and archive targets.

In addition to EV.cloud and its on-premises EV, Veritas is best known for its Backup Exec for Windows and NetBackup enterprise data protection software, which now support Microsoft Azure as a target, as promised last fall. Veritas said it is announcing the Microsoft pact as employees today celebrate the one-year anniversary of its spinoff from Symantec. Private equity firm Carlyle Group officially closed the $7.4 billion buyout from Symantec in late January of last year and Veritas has since pledged to accelerate making its data protection wares more ready for the cloud. Prior to its pact with Microsoft, Veritas last week said it will integrate its Veritas 360 Data Management tool with Amazon Web Services cloud offerings.

While Veritas' decision to move EV.cloud to a global service provider stemmed from its determination to focus on its software development priorities, Microsoft Azure was a logical contender given it's a popular archiving service for Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Lync messaging and Office 365 data. "There is a lot of potential in having archival technology living and breathing within the same cloud framework as Office 365," said Jason Buffington, a principle analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Nevertheless, Veritas' decision to move EV.cloud to Azure represents an important endorsement of Microsoft's public cloud infrastructure. Despite the obvious connections between Office 365, Microsoft's on-premises software and Azure, Buffington said that Veritas could just have easily chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which are also partners and have comparable global-scale clouds.

"When you think about what Enterprise Vault is about, cloud or no cloud, it's your archive copy of last resort. It's the copy the auditor requires and, in many cases, the copy that means you won't have absorbent fines or go to jail," Buffington said. "Veritas has decided that they trust the Azure platform. When they looked at what the underlying frameworks were like and their potential to innovate on top of that platform, and yet an assurance of geopolitical boundaries and a whole bunch of considerations, Veritas' relocation of their cloud is a huge testament to the Azure platform."

Veritas decided to outsource the hosting of EV.cloud to focus adding new levels of capabilities to the platform to support a growing number of new industry and government regulations that are impacting data retention and availability requirements. Alex Sakaguchi, director of solutions marketing at Veritas, said the growth of Office 365 and hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business is contingent on the ability to provide the necessary protections and governance.

"The primary driver of that is moving from Exchange on premises to Exchange Online," Sakaguchi said. "And then there's some unique capabilities for customers to move to Office 365 to employ Azure Storage. From a technology standpoint, this will help facilitate that movement and ensure customers have their data management capabilities, visibility and the information that they need as they make that transition."

Veritas also said as part of its partnership, the company's NetBackup 8.0 enterprise data protection software now supports storage tiering to the Azure cloud for those looking to use it for information lifecycle management. Likewise, Veritas Backup Exec, the company's data protection software for small- and mid-size organizations, supports Azure as a target. Veritas last fall had announced plans to support Azure storage with common connectors it calls Open Storage Technology (OST), which also provide connections to Enterprise Vault, the on-premises solution, and EV.cloud.

It would stand to reason that the move of EV.cloud to the Microsoft Azure public cloud would suggest that it will also support Azure Stack, the forthcoming converged systems that will provide Microsoft's cloud infrastructure and platform service, set for release later this year. For now, that's not part of this agreement, said Tad Brockway, Microsoft's partner director for Azure Storage, who also said that Azure Stack doesn't fall under this agreement. But Veritas' decision to move EV.cloud to Azure will allow the company to lower the cost of running the service.

"Backup and archival are natural scenarios for the public cloud," Brockway said. "The public cloud gives customers for archival and backup the cost and cloud economics, which make sense for those workloads. Especially, if you look at the exponential growth in data, the requirements can only be met via public cloud."

Veritas' Sakaguchi said the migration will be staged over time, though the company isn't providing any timelines at this point. However, he said customers will be informed.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/22/2017 at 1:11 PM


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