Veeam moves into backup-as-a-service for Microsoft fans with Cirrus grab

Veeam can now back up Microsoft 365 and Azure with its Cirrus by Veeam service.

Backup delivered as a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has been the focus of suppliers such as Asigra, Clumio, Cohesity, Commvault with its Metallic offering, Druva, HYCU, and OwnBackup, which believe SaaS is the new backup frontier. Up until now, Veeam has been largely absent from this market, apart from a February 2023 partnership deal with Australian business CT4. This has now blossomed into buying CT4’s Cirrus cloud-native software, which provides the BaaS layer on top of Veeam’s backup and restore software.

Danny Allan, Veeam
Danny Allan

CTO Danny Allan said the company is “the #1 global provider of data protection and ransomware recovery. We’re now giving customers those trusted capabilities – for Microsoft 365 and for Microsoft Azure – delivered as a service.”

Cirrus for Microsoft 365 builds on Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 and delivers it as a service. Cirrus Cloud Protect for Microsoft Azure is a fully hosted and pre-configured backup and recovery offering.

Veeam says its customers now have three options for protecting Microsoft 365 and Azure data:

  • Cirrus by Veeam: a SaaS experience, without having to manage the infrastructure or storage.
  • Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure: Deploy Veeam’s existing software solutions for Microsoft 365 and Azure data protection and manage the infrastructure.
  • A backup service from a Veeam service provider partner: Built on top of the Veeam platform, with value-added services unique to the provider’s area of expertise.

Veeam has invested in Alcion, a SaaS backup startup founded by Niraj Tolia and Vaibhav Kamra. The two founded container app backup outfit Kasten, which was bought by Veeam for $150 million in 2020. The company now has two BaaS bets, with Cirrus looking much stronger than Alcion. The company and its partners can now sell the Cirrus Microsoft 365 and Azure BaaS offerings into Veeam’s 450,000 customer base and hint at roadmap items extending coverage to other major SaaS app players.

It has to extend its BaaS coverage to other major SaaS apps such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, and on to second tier SaaS apps as well, if it is going to catch up with the existing SaaS backup suppliers. That means it has to decide how to solve the connector-build problem to extend its coverage to the tens of thousands of SaaS apps in existence. Our thinking is that it will rely on its existing market dominance and attractiveness as a backup supplier, and provide an SDK for SaaS app developers to use.

Dan Pearson, CT4
Dan Pearson

When the BaaS partnership was announced, Dan Pearson, CT4’s founder, CEO and CTO, said: “We recognize that technologies are continually evolving, along with the ever-changing needs of our clients, so we’re developing new Veeam-powered offerings like Cirrus for Cloud Protect Azure, Cirrus for Cloud Protect AWS, and Cirrus for Salesforce. Our vision is for Cirrus to be considered the only data protection solution for SaaS products globally. This is the cornerstone of our business and go-to market strategy, and Veeam is supporting us every step of the way.”

Not so much now. CT4 is still a partner, but Cirrus development is in Veeam’s hands alone. We think it will throw development resources at it to become a major force in the market with common management and security across its on-premises VM, container, and SaaS backup offerings.

Cirrus by Veeam is available now via here, on the Azure Marketplace, and all existing Cirrus channels, and will soon be expanded to Veeam’s additional routes to market. Veeam will launch a new, enhanced, and fully integrated version of the BaaS offering in Q1 2024, available through Veeam service providers, the Microsoft Azure marketplace, and Veeam’s online store.