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Veeam adds Exchange tool to free backup app

Veeam Software this week continued its “freemium” strategy of offering free features from its virtual machine backup software in hopes of gaining publicity and new users.

The newest freebie is Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which lets virtual machine admins search and retrieve items inside Exchange without an agent. The admins can browse Exchange databases from a compressed backup file. Veeam claims the databases will be searchable in less than two minutes. Items can be exported to PST or MSG files.

Veeam Explorer for Exchange is now an “exclusive beta,” which means it is available for what product strategy specialist Rick Vanover calls “our largest fans.” That group consists of large customers as well as frequent Veaam tweeters and bloggers who will spread the word.

The Exchange feature requires the full Veeam Backup & and Replication application now, but will be added to the Veeam Backup Free Edition that Veeam launched in June. That free edition does ad hoc and limited backups of VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V but lacks support for deduplication, replication, incremental backups and a backup scheduler.

“The free version was light, but we gave it legs by adding this tool,” Vanover said.

The Exchange feature will also be built into the next version of Backup & Replication, due before the end of the year.

Vanover said the “freemium model helps us reach people, and in some cases is an eye opener for them. We’re banking on a lot of interest for Explorer for Exchange. Exchange is a beast. A lot of people have their own personal ‘big data’ in Exchange. This tool lets them work with it right from their backups.”

Veeam’s competitive situation changed earlier this month with Dell’s $2.4 billion acquisition of Quest Software. Quest owned Veeam’s major VM-only backup rival vRanger. Dell hasn’t said much about its plans for Quest’s backup products, but it can pump more development and distribution resources into vRanger than Quest did.

Vanover said the immediate impact for Veeam is that its close partnership with Dell will end.

“That changed our relationship with Dell,” he said. “We’ll still go the distributor route with them, but in terms of joint promotions, that’s non-existent now.”

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