Since lifting and shifting to the cloud helps in the short term, rewriting applications to change the operational model is needed for a cloud-native experience in the long term.
Having been in existence for 352 years, Hudson’s Bay Co. has progressed by reinventing itself, because innovation is baked into its core DNA, according to Ope Bakare (pictured, left), chief technology officer of HBC. In fact, the company’s cloud journey was prompted by the urge to modernize services such as streaming data into and out of its e-commerce platform.
HBC worked with Veeam Software Corp. during the transformation to ensure effective data protection solutions.
“Veeam has been, for quite some time now, our data protection engine … they’ve made the transition into the cloud-first world,” Bakare stated. “If I can get a platform that can use policies, tag, and operate natively in the cloud, that’s the dream scenario, and we’ve achieved that largely. Once you have it running, you can set it and forget it, other than your periodic business continuity and DR tests.”
Bakare and Danny Allan (pictured, right), chief technology officer of Veeam, spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and David Nicholson at VeeamON, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how HBC utilizes Veeam as its data protection powerhouse, as well as provided insights about the benefits of shifting to the cloud. (* Disclosure below.)
The need for operational consistency
Wherever there is friction in technology, problems are inevitable, and that’s why operational consistency is required, according to Bakare.
“I think running multiple different tools for data protection just creates a whole lot of interaction; let’s call that friction,” he stated. “Unifying that stuff and actually running them out of the same ethos really creates operational consistency that is so valuable for us to be successful.”
Despite the advantages rendered by the cloud, Allan believes the transition involved is the most challenging part.
“The benefit of the cloud is that it’s elastic and portable; you can scale almost infinitely, and you don’t have to build it,” he pointed out. “However, the hard part is not the technology … I always say the hard part is the process. You actually have to rewrite your applications to take advantage of all the things in the cloud, and that is not an easy thing.”
Having accomplished 90% of its cloud journey, Bakare believes being customer-centric and moving the team up the value chain have played an instrumental role in HBC’s successful digital transformation.
“We had a goal, and it was focusing on our customers, being customer-obsessed,” he stated. “For us, data centers just didn’t make sense in that world.”
Veeam delves deeper into any modern infrastructure by connecting the dots and not taking away what already exists, according to Allan.
“Every time there’s a modern infrastructure, we say, ‘How can we actually modernize data protection to that infrastructure, specifically,’” he said. “If you think back when we first started, everyone was doing agents … so we said, we’ll take a snapshot at the hypervisor level. When we went to the cloud, we said, ‘Let’s take advantage of the APIs rather than trying to put an agent in there.’”
By utilizing cloud-native services, Bakare believes an enterprise is able to maximize satisfaction rates in the cloud.
“You don’t really get into the cloud until you start consuming cloud-native services; until you go serverless and stateless with containers in Kubernetes,” he said. “We actually were able to kill two birds with one stone, really transform and go cloud-native at the same time.”
Part of Veeam’s Modern Data Protection solution includes cloud acceleration and ransomware protection, according to Allan.
“Around security, we’re seeing because of the rise in ransomware, cyber insurance is actually requiring data protection,” he explained. “So a big part of Modern Data Protection is all about the security of the environment. The second is cloud acceleration, because we want customers to move to the cloud.”
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the VeeamON event:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the VeeamON event. Neither Veeam Software Corp., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)