Looking through the Veeam lens: hybrid IT arrives, containers and SaaS app protection needed

A snapshot of the IT environment provided by a Veeam survey shows that hybrid IT has become reality, cloud disaster recovery is difficult and a minority interest, and Office 365 data needs backing up — as does cloud-native app data.

Data protector Veeam has issued a 2021 Cloud Protection Trends Report based on data from a survey run by an independent research firm. It looked at data protection in four areas of IT: hybrid cloud, disaster recovery to the cloud, SaaS app protection and container protection.

There are three highlighted results”

  • Almost half of the 1550 respondents run production apps in the public cloud;
  • 80 per cent use the public cloud in their disaster recovery (DR) arrangements;
  • Twice as many organisations use a third party backup for Office 365 compared to a year ago.

The survey showed that hybrid IT — the mix of on-premises and public cloud IT environments — is a reality. Backup is changing from reliance on physical and virtual servers in the data centre to increased reliance on hosted virtual machines in the public cloud.

Veeam survey report chart.

More than half (55%) of the respondents used the public cloud for normal production workloads, 47 per cent for high-priority production workloads, 36 per cent for development and 21 per cent for disaster recovery.

Application movement is not one-way to the cloud. Some 23 per cent of respondents have decided to bring on-premises applications moved to the cloud back home. That movement reinforces a requirement that data protection facilities should cover both the on-premises and the public cloud worlds (AWS, Azure, GCP, etc.), and the environments within them — virtual machines and containers.

The public cloud is popularly used for DR, with less than a fifth of respondents (10%) not using it. For example, 40 per cent store backed up data in the cloud, for on-premises restoration, 39 per cent use the cloud as a secondary site for DR, and 27 per cent have a purpose-built DR-as-a-Service arrangement involving the public cloud.

Respondents using the public cloud in their DR arrangements pointed out there were difficult areas that could be smoother — network configuration and connectivity, securing remote sites, firing up servers and verifying remote server functionality. Expense was another issue.

On the more positive side, there was widespread acceptance that data used by SaaS applications, like Office 365, needs to be backed up by the SaaS user. This is to protect against accidental deletion, cyber and other malicious attacks, and to meet compliance needs.

There was also acknowledgement that containerised apps and data need protecting. In both this and the SaaS application case, the decision to protect and to manage the protection was split between backup admin staff and SaaS/PaaS admin staff.


In the world of hybrid IT, apps and data are running on physical, virtual and containerised servers in data centres, as well as on virtual and containerised platforms in the public clouds, and also accessed as services from the cloud. This inherently makes the provision of a single backup environment covering all three environments a formidable task. Even moreso if restoration is desired outside the source environment.

Ideally there should be a single or unified data protection control plane. This would enable different employees, backup admins, SaaS/PaaS admins, DevOps, compliance and line-of-business people to co-operate, co-ordinate and integrate their data protection needs.

You can download a copy of the PowerPoint deck-style 14-page report from Veeam’s web site.