As a managed service provider, you have a lot on your shoulders. Customers rely on you to manage and support their infrastructure and applications — the very life blood of their business.
Figure 1 Source: 451 Research’s Cloud Price Index, 2019 AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Growth in Services and Regions, 2015-2019
As reported by 451 Research; in figure 1 you can see the sheer explosive growth of hyperscale public cloud services, solutions and architectures over the last 5-7 years (2015 to 2019 saw a 317% growth in VM types, 155% in services and 168% in regions) is proof alone that these vendors are meeting customer demands for moving, migrating and transforming their complex business applications to cloud. And you, as a managed service provider, well, you are best placed to manage it all.
Let’s step into a customer’s shoes. Their IT operations manager has a number of challenges, including managing cloud spend, cloud asset efficiency, multiple SLAs and critically finding the right-skilled people to support the business. Digital Transformation and the acceleration of these priorities during recent times is increasing pressure, with 78% of businesses stating it’s the main reason to adopt cloud infrastructure and services. Keeping your head above water has never been so difficult. The more applications proliferate with Digital Transformation, the more operational challenges increase. One such aspect is a simple line item, but one often overlooked and certainly rarely tested, is Data Protection.
If we consider there is a 50% growth in the number of applications deployed from 2019 to 2020, then there is much more surface area exposure to potential data loss, which as your business relies on these new applications, could be disastrous. A backup solution is required to be highly integrated into your customers’ main portal, and that it can automate the backup procedure. Backup is still the highest consumed, managed service today according to 451 Research with over 40% of customers using a backup managed service and about another 15% planning to, so it’s still a great opportunity, and block storage snapshots tend to be an included service in the overall provider offerings, with some offering this as an added service according to 451.
For our VMware Cloud providers, with VMware Cloud Director, there is an ecosystem of vendors who can provide this capability (please have a look at the new ecosystem section on our product page). The particular focus for this blog is Veeam and their integration with VMware Cloud Director.
Together, Veeam and VMware Cloud Director provide an integrated backup and restore solution to end tenant customers. Using VMware Cloud Director extensibility framework, Veeam has created a plug-in that delivers Backup as a Service (BaaS) to customers of VMware Cloud Director and (in version 11 of Veeam) VMware Cloud Director service. The solution uses the Cloud Director API to back up customer vApps and VMs and restore them directly to the Cloud Director hierarchy, without ever leaving the Cloud Director user interface. Cloud Director cannot just use any backup product, it must be one that understands how the hierarchy works, and Veeam does just that using the vAPP metadata when backing up vAPP and VMs.
The user, your tenants, are completely in control with self-service capability within the Cloud Director user interface to manage their own full VM restore, Guest OS and file-level restores, VM disks, VM files or a full restore of vAPP and associated VMs. You, the managed service provider, can deliver this solution as a managed service to your customers or choose to enable self-service depending on what you offer them today in VMware Cloud Director.
Not only is the solution integrated into the user experience (using native authentication, so not re-challenging the user for credentials), it now helps deliver a consistent backup operational model, avoiding retraining and additional operational cost in managing multiple different solutions.
If you’re not familiar with Veeam, please check out the new solution brief and VCD plug-in technical overview video detailing the backup and restore capabilities when Veeam is deployed with VMware Cloud Director.
 Source: 451 Research’s Cloud Price Index, 2019 AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Growth in Services and Regions, 2015-2019
 Source: Veeam Cloud Data Management Report June 2020
 *** Source: IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Cisco, Transforming Applications and Multicloud Operations, August 2019 on https://blogs.cisco.com/cloud/cloud-native
 451 Research June 2020 Cloud Price Index: Economics of Support and Managed Services