BOSTON – Early in the morning of August 8, the Delta Airlines computer systems went down, bringing their worldwide operations to a screeching halt. Within half a day, more than 450 flights had been canceled and thou- sands delayed.Companies such as Veeam try to help their customers avoid problems like that. On Tuesday, it announced a series of major product upgrades.As businesses rely more and more on data and software, the costs of losing data can be monumental: $80,000 per hour of downtime and $90,000 per hour of lost data, according to Veeam.But keeping all the data secure, backed up and easily accessible is an increasingly difficult challenge, espe- cially as businesses increasingly move from storing their software, data and apps on their own servers, and move instead into either their own private clouds or public clouds run by compa- nies such as Microsoft or Amazon.“People might not understand how all these cloud-based applications they use everyday work, but this is what makes it work,” said Ratmir Timashev, the company’s cofounder and, until recently, its president and CEO.Old solutions to backup data on com- pany’s own data centers (referred to in industry speak as legacy centers, as opposed to virtualized backups in the cloud, and the use of both private and public clouds, called the Hybrid cloud) cannot work today for a variety of rea- sons, he said.One is the move to the cloud, which Timashev approximates accounts for 80 percent of data storage instead of the 20% it once held. (Israel is ahead of the curve in terms of virtualization and is considered a regional leader, he said.) Another reason is that more and more software and services that people use are running from the cloud, mean- ing more users, more chances for data glitches and a greater need for speedy recovery if something goes wrong.“The number of apps and data grew 100 times, and the requirement times to restore them also shrank from hours and days to seconds,” Timashev said.Google Docs and Microsoft 365 are well-known examples of cloud-based software that customers and businesses alike use. But the shift is clear in a sur - prising number of other places.Norwegian Cruiselines, for example, offers its customers Internet access, shopping, on-ship restaurant reserva- tions and casino games on its ships. All those services, which keep customers happy and the money flowing in, are run from data centers.Another example is institutions of higher learning. The University of Brit- ish Columbia, for example, says it has a small tech team of 15 people who have to serve 150,000 customers including its own students and faculty as well as 26 other institutions it shares services with. Students expect not only email, but also access to their course mate- rials, their test scores, the library and so on.“Imagine in the morning you can’t log into Outlook, check your schedule, make your next appointment, buy your ticket,” Veeam CMO Peter Ruchatz said. “The tolerance for these services being down is much lower, even though there are much more services.”“The cloud isn’t a paradise of reliabil- ity,” he said. “Things can get lost or be inaccessible. Even the cloud is a risk.”Businesses have to invest in good IT software and practices to stay afloat, Ruchatz said.With that in mind, the company presented a new set of products that bridges the gaps in the changing mar - ket. Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud, for example, seeks to ensure that there are easily accessible backups from the legacy servers that private cloud and public cloud com- panies use, which the company says is more comprehensive and quicker to recover data.“Enterprises are engaged in a contin- uous digital transformation process as they adapt to or drive disruptive chang- es in their customers and markets,” said Phil Goodwin, a researcher at a company called IDC that carried out a business survey for Veeam. “Success in these digital transformation efforts depends upon data and application availability in the hybrid cloud.”Would all that have saved a company such as Delta from an embarrassing and difficult situation? “I don’t know exactly what happened there, but what these incidents show is how such occurrences are a great opportunity for IT professionals to dis- cuss the issues,” Ruchatz said. “If one piece falls off, the whole thing can go under because of these ripple effects.”The writer was a guest of the company.