VeeamON Tour 2016: Gregg Petersen speaks ‘always-on’ businesses

veeeamon tour 2016 veeam

Software and disaster management company, Veeam, this week hosted its VeeamON Tour in Johannesburg, showing off the company’s latest wares for enterprise-level users and admins. Although acronyms, esoteric terms, and technical jargon were flung around at will, there were a few interesting takeaway for consumers.

The company — which was founded in 2006, and arrived in South Africa in 2012 — offered its first product back in 2008. Since then, the company has seen remarkable growth.

Veeam’s VP of product strategy, Doug Hazelman, suggests that the Switzerland-based firm is growing 100% year on year, with worldwide customer base currently sitting at 205 000. In South Africa, India, and the Middle East, that number continues to grow.

VeeamON Tour is an event that both celebrated the company’s achievements thus far, and explained to users, companies and the media what its gameplan for the next few years will be.

Its new suite for enterprises — Veeam Availaiblity Suite 9.5 — is “capable of scaling efficiently and effectively, regardless of the size of your environment and number of VMs, making it the most scalable Veeam release ever,” the company claims.

It features support for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware’s vSphere, with support for nimble storage solutions, scalability and seamless backup and restore for large or small businesses. Effectively, the “Availability” portion of the suite’s name is what Veeam is most excited about. It aims to keep businesses always-online.

Along with revealing these numbers and showing off features that will be available on its Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, the company also spoke of digital disruption, and how the “new industrial revolution” is leaving many companies in a sink-or-swim scenario.

It terms this revolution — or at least the software element — the movement of businesses to an “always-on enterprise” is crucial. Effectively, this requires a company’s backend infrastructure — from data backups to services — to be constantly available, constantly recoverable and always-online (obviously).

Veeam’s Gregg Petersen explained that downtime can cost businesses millions in lost revenue each year

Speaking to Memeburn, Veeam’s MEA regional director Gregg Petersen explains that practically all companies alive today are “software companies.” If you were to take away the software element within any company — think email — it will be left at a standstill.

Petersen’s solution to conquering this problem is simple. Remaining “agile,” in terms of software and beyond, was another key term darting around VeeamON Tour circles. Notably, this notion also applies most aptly to Africa.

“If you look at Africa as a whole, the majority of Africans have never had access to a desktop or a laptop. So their first interaction with technology was a handheld device,” Petersen explains.

“So in terms of running apps on a handheld device, people don’t waste time waiting for an app to load. Those apps have to be always on.”

Petersen also notes that handheld devices are probably the best examples of always-on businesses, or at least the vehicle for said businesses. This doesn’t differ much for startups either. Petersen notes that regardless of the company’s size, all businesses have one question: “How do I keep my business running?”.

Fluxtrends analyst Dion Chang — a guest speaker at the event — noted that the likes of Amazon’s drone delivery system, to UberEATS’ new food delivery system, are all required to have an always-on business backend.

And when systems do indeed drop, consumers get angry. We saw the likes of Electronic Arts and Bungie — two of the world’s most popular gaming companies — receive a slew of flack thanks to their server problems this year.

Ultimately, Petersen left us with this key takeaway: “Uptime is crucial.”

Disclosure: Veeam paid for Andy Walker’s flights and transport to and from Johannesburg.

Andy Walker
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