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Veeam lobs backup bombs, with Cisco lighting the fuse

Free endpoint tool debuts, along with UCS-as-disk-backup appliance idea

Cisco and Veeam's UCS backup scheme
Cisco and Veeam's backup scheme

Veeam's making waves again, with two new initiatives sure to get backup software rivals – and tin-makers – a little riled.

Software rivals have to figure out how to contend with the new free endpoint backup tool the company flagged last October and released today.

The tool's pitched at anyone who wants to back up a Windows PC, but many such users will find the product overkill because it can target Veeam repositories. That'll be handy in Veeam-using businesses and an irritant to rivals who try to charge for endpoint backup. Throw in image-based volume and/or file-level backups, scheduling, and options for bare-metal recovery (on “dissimilar hardware” if required) or volume and file-level restores and a the price of $0.00 and it's a more-than-decent package.

Veeam's billing it as a “gift to the IT pro community”. They may not be wrong: it'll be a handy thing to mention during licensing negotiations if nothing else.

The company's second attack has been made with Cisco, as the pair together float the idea that UCS servers might be a nice way to build a disk backup appliance.

The Borg let Veeamer Rick Vanover post on its blog to point out that the UCS C3160 does RAID, can hold up to 60 disk drives and, thanks to UCS Fabric Interconnect being present in just about all UCS server rigs, has connectivity galore. That means it won't be a colossal hassle, in theory, to shunt data running on other UCS servers to a 3160 set aside for backup duties. And of course Veeam is happy to throw its compression and deduplication into the mix to make this a very modern arrangement.

Servers with DAS-aplenty are back in vogue, thanks to the advent of virtual arrays and the current liking for ensuring that latency-sensitive workloads with "compute affinity" are spared the chore of spanning a storage area network. So Veeam's and Cisco's idea could be replicated with any number of other servers and also represent something of a half-way house between a traditional server/SAN rig and a hyperconverged storver.

The mere fact they're willing to run the idea up the flagpole, however, suggests both are keen on backup ideas that keep dedicated tin-makers out of the loop. And fair enough: it can't always be easy for Veeam to get its foot in the door of network storage deals and Cisco's keen to make UCS as attractive as possible. Throw in the fact that Cisco and EMC are hardly the best of friends these days, and selling a few C3160s as SAN or NAS supplanters looks like a fine bit of fun. ®

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