As Veeam Software prepares to launch the latest versions of its data backup and disaster recovery solutions, it used its VeeamOn user conference in Las Vegas this week to launch a free version of its backup software.
Veeam unveiled the beta version of Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, a standalone solution that enables users to backup Windows-based laptops and desktops to an internal or external hard drive, a NAS (network attached storage) system or a Veeam backup repository.
Veeam started out eight years ago with its free FastSCP product, so Veeam is going back to the future with its new freemium product. Having said that it already gives away Veeam Backup Free Edition, Veeam ONE Free Edition, and Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V.
“With Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, IT professionals now have a simple solution for backing up endpoints, which has long been a major data protection headache,” said Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Veeam. “Veeam believes that modern data centres should be fully virtualised, but we also recognise that unlike servers, endpoints will always remain physical and they need to be backed up as well."
He added, "Plus, if the IT organisation still has a few physical servers left in their data centre, Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE can help fill that gap.”
When recovering, IT professionals can perform a bare-metal restore to the same or different hardware, a volume-level restore or a file-level restore. The tool will be freely available to all, and will not require the use of any additional Veeam products.
If required, it will also integrate with Veeam Backup & Replication if it is present in the IT environment. Veeam stressed the free product was not aimed at enterprises who needed to backup thousands of endpoints - it is mainly aimed at supporting a relatively small number of desktops and laptops in the SME and mid-range market or "a few servers as it does not scale", said the company.
“Most vendors would charge quite a bit for a tool with this level of functionality, so the fact that it is free could significantly disrupt this segment of the data protection market,” said Dave Simpson, an analyst at 451 Research. “It’s not a full blown move into the physical data protection space by Veeam, but it does provide a good option for those Veeam customers who have virtualised all but a few servers within their data centre.”
The free offering only serves desktops and laptops running Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 and above, with no support for Linux or other operating systems. It also does not support tablets or mobile phones.
On the lack of support for mobile devices, Doug Hazelman, vice president of product strategy at Veeam said, "We decided there was no need to support tablets or mobiles as many users already back them up to the cloud or to desktops or laptops anyway."
When asked why there was no support for Apple iOS or Linux, for instance, on desktops and laptops, and the decision to support Windows only - which now has a decreasing share of the market - Hazelman said, "Well, Windows still has a significant share, and we are putting the free product out there to be tested and to get feedback. After that, we will see where it takes us."
The freemium product is expected to bring sales leads for the supplier's reseller channel to convert customers to paid-for, fully featured products, said Veeam. Veeam does not sell direct to customers.
Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will become available in public beta next month, and become generally available in "early 2015", said the company. Veeam also put more meat on the bones regarding the impending launch of version 8 of its main products at some point in the current fourth quarter.
The Veeam Availability Suite v8 offers greater integration with NetApp systems to offer faster backups using data snapshots, and faster restores for Microsoft SQL databases with a new data explorer offering. There are also improved recovery technologies offered for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Active Directory.
In addition there is also the new EMC Data Domain Boost technology to deliver more efficient data deduplication which aids backup times.