the bucket

Vilas Belagodu Talks Veeam v12 and Direct-to-Cloud Backups

Vilas Belagodu Talks Veeam v12 and Direct-to-Cloud Backups

Lily McIntyre
By Lily McIntyre

March 13, 2023

Our #WhyWasabi series highlights different members of the Wasabi team to get to know more about them, what they do, and how they are helping Wasabi transform the cloud storage industry. Next up is Vilas Belagodu, Wasabi’s Vice President of Product and Partner Management. When Vilas joined the company four years ago, he was entrusted with building the Partner Engineering Program and supporting the ecosystem from scratch. The Bucket editorial team sat down with Vilas to chat about his Wasabi journey and his experience working with our partners, including his work with Veeam and their highly anticipated v12 launch.

Q. Tell us about yourself and your role at Wasabi

A. I am currently serving as the Vice President of Product and Partner Management at Wasabi. Having previously worked with Wasabi’s senior leadership, I was already familiar with the company’s potential and strong leadership team.

As the founding member of the partner engineering group, I had both the challenge and privilege of strategically growing the department. During my tenure, we have onboarded over 400 technologies and established a program to simplify the embedding of cloud object storage to meet the use case of our customers and channel partners. Moving forward, we remain committed to expanding our technology portfolio and simplifying the adoption of cloud object storage for our clients.

Q. What were you doing before joining Wasabi?

A. Prior to my time at Wasabi, I worked for Acme Packet, a startup that Oracle subsequently acquired. While there, I helped create the partner engineering function, which contributed significantly to the establishment of valuable technology partnerships that persist today. After the acquisition, I continued in this capacity until I moved to the business development team.

Q. Why did you join Wasabi? What do you think Wasabi is offering to customers of backup systems that isn’t already out there?

A. Joining Wasabi was an easy decision for me for two reasons. Firstly, the company is led by exceptional technology leaders, and I was eager to be part of their elite team. Secondly, with the rapid growth of the cloud market, Wasabi was addressing a critical problem for businesses, and I wanted to contribute to the mission of making cloud object storage more accessible and cost-effective for all.

While there are several players in the advanced backup and recovery market, Wasabi stands out with its streamlined and scalable solutions. Unlike other providers, Wasabi simplifies the entire ecosystem by employing the familiar S3 interface used by AWS S3. This means that our service eliminates complexities associated with data tiering, data management, and pricing while offering the same level of support for S3 and IAM APIs.

Wasabi's global reach is comparable to AWS S3, currently operating in 13 regions with more to come, without complications associated with multi-tiering, pricing, and policy management.

Q. You recently worked on the Wasabi + Veeam v12 launch. Tell us about the new capabilities, and what you’re most excited about?

A. The release of v12 by Veeam has been eagerly awaited by its users for over a year, generating considerable buzz and excitement. And did it live up to the expectations? Absolutely! With a plethora of impressive features to choose from, it appears that Veeam's v12 release has something for everyone. I’ll highlight a few of the most valuable additions to Wasabi.

  • Besides being featured in the v12 release, Wasabi has enjoyed a close partnership with Veeam for the past 4+ years. In fact, in the v12 release notes, Veeam referred to Wasabi as “one of the most popular object storage options among Veeam users.”
  • Direct backup to object/cloud storage – One of the most prominent features of v12 is the ability to perform direct backups to object or cloud storage. This capability is made possible thanks to significant improvements in high-speed connectivity and reliability in recent years.
  • Veeam’s direct-to-cloud feature is highly flexible, allowing not only Veeam servers to send backups directly to the cloud, but also for Veeam agents to send backups orchestrated by VBR to Wasabi. These agents now support NAS backup direct-to-cloud, as well as endpoint backup for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Q. How does direct to object backups help customers? When would backing up directly to the cloud be more appropriate than backing up first to hardware?

A. Veeam’s direct-to-cloud reduces the overall costs and complexity associated with backup management. On-prem backups can be destroyed in the event of a local disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, flood, etc. While your offices and systems may be destroyed, data backed up to the cloud will be isolated from that event, ensuring your organization can get up and running again.

For enterprises with a diverse and remote infrastructure, direct-to-cloud backup is a logical choice. Requiring backups to land on-premises would slow down the backup process, increase costs, add complexity to backup management, and create numerous points of vulnerability. Instead, using the direct-to-cloud feature set allows customers to use cloud storage as a centralized repository attached to the enterprise’s distributed infrastructure. This approach can help streamline backups and enhance data protection while minimizing potential vulnerabilities.

Q. How has the backup industry changed since you started in the industry?

A. The backup and recovery industry has significantly evolved to become a comprehensive data protection vertical. Previously, the backup market primarily focused on creating backup copies of physical and virtualized infrastructure. However, with advancements in technology, the industry has adapted to protect a wide range of other areas, including cloud infrastructure, NAS, SAN, Apps, SaaS services, and more.

In addition to this, there has been an increased emphasis on security across the industry. All vendors in this vertical prioritize keeping backups secure, and many applications have adopted security standards and implemented sophisticated hardening and encryption methods to protect backups.

With the growing sophistication of threats to systems, strategies such as next-generation encryption algorithms, multiple backup strategies, and storing backups on different media types have become central to securing enterprises. Many of these strategies were once merely philosophies but are now core features of enterprise backup strategies.

Q. Tell us more about the significance of Wasabi and Veeam’s partnership.

A. The partnership between Wasabi and Veeam is a rare and coveted achievement, built on a foundation of seamless collaboration across various aspects of both businesses, including engineering, product development, marketing, sales, channel, and distribution. The synergy between Veeam and Wasabi is unparalleled, with our respective solutions complementing each other perfectly, like two pieces of a puzzle.

Q. Tell us a little bit more about your role and how you engage with both our partners and product management team.

A. In addition to overseeing the onboarding of Technology Alliance Partners (TAPs), such as Veeam, I also manage sales engineering for channel partners, providing me with valuable learning opportunities. This dual role enables us to develop new products and features with direct input from our TAPs, channel partners, and their customers, which continues to have significant impact on our product and feature roadmap. For instance, one backup partner I worked with had a unique practice of performing a check against an S3 bucket's read/write permissions before committing a backup job, which required adaptation by Wasabi. My dual role in both partner and product focus allowed us to quickly adapt and address these changes required by our partner.

Q. What about the future and growth of Wasabi in the backup space excites you the most?

A. The backup market has fully embraced object storage, as evidenced by Veeam’s v12 direct-to-object integration. Object storage continues to become a standard for both on-premises and offsite storage needs. Wasabi, as a cloud object storage provider, is uniquely positioned to remain focused on its core product offering without the distraction of various other products and services. This allows us to work closely with backup vendors as true partners, rather than friendly competitors, as some have become.

Many backup vendors have incorporated object storage from vendors like Wasabi into their own product offerings, bundling and embedding it to simplify billing, invoicing, and procurement processes. Wasabi offers various partnership programs to integrate with backup vendor strategies seamlessly. I am excited to see how the backup industry has adapted to newer data protection offerings, and Wasabi is proud to be at the forefront, extending backup vendor value propositions with dependability, predictability, and simplicity.

Q. What other new products or features and enhancements are you working on that you can discuss publicly?

A. I’ll introduce you to one of our valuable products at Wasabi, the Wasabi Account Control Manager. Our channel partners who handle multiple customers have found Wasabi Account Control Manager to be extremely useful. This product is compatible with all backup vendors and works seamlessly with any application using object storage services.

Wasabi Account Control Manager simplifies customer creation, management, and invoicing for partners while maintaining Wasabi's easy billing process. This product can complement Veeam's Cloud Service Providers (VCSPs), Backup as a Service (BaaS) providers, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) providers, and even large enterprises that require greater control over inter-department data privacy, cross-charging, and other related issues. Our team continuously works to enhance Wasabi Account Control Manager by adding new features, such as improved reporting, customer management, automated integrations with CRM systems, and much more.

backup and recovery
the bucket
Lily McIntyre
By Lily McIntyre