There've been some interesting blog posts lately about dedicated VMware data protection solutions such as Veeam Backup & Replication and whether those solutions will continue to thrive. Jay Livens started the discussion in his blog post "Will dedicated VMware protection solutions go the way of CDP?" This post caught the attention of Mr. Backup, W. Curtis Preston, and he posted a response "Will dedicated VMware protection solutions go the way of CDP? (A response)", and then Jay posted a response to Mr. Preston "CDP data protection and VMware backup: A response".

All 4 blog posts make very valid points. The purpose of this post is not to call into question any of those points but to explain Veeam's position in the dedicated VMware data protection space. In fact, I wrote an article for Virtualization Review a few months back talking about physical vs. virtual and the change happening in the industry. The backup and DR space was very different in the age of the mainframe…then came Windows…now comes virtualization.

Veeam does face a lot of competition from the traditional "dinosaur" backup vendors, we know this. We also know that the only way to get people to look at new technology like ours is to provide innovative features that no other vendor has and to keep up the pace of innovation or become irrelevant. While the vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) have helped all backup vendors, Veeam was one of the first to support it. We're smaller so we can move faster. Of course as an ISV we also can't wait around for VMware to just hand us new features and capabilities, we have to differentiate on our own merit.

  • Virtualization is really just getting started…and so is Veeam. And we're both off to a very strong start: In the 2.5 years since the first version of Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam has almost 15,000 customers! Nearly 800 new customers are coming on board every month, and that rate is accelerating. These numbers make Veeam one of the fastest growing software companies ever!
  • Virtualization is disruptive—especially when it comes to data protection. Disruptive means it can do things 10 times better at 1/10th the cost. Disruptive also means it is not "add-on" or "niche", but an industry-revolutionizing movement. (unlike CDP, which is an "add-on" to traditional backup for mission-critical applications)
  • Disruptive also means that "dinosaurs" will have to "mutate" – that is, TOTALLY change, or face extinction. In a few years—and already today in some organizations—virtualization is not going to be a "niche" and virtualization backup, systems management, security, etc. will be 95% with traditional approaches being 5%.
  • Virtualization is disruptive, and most of the things still have to be invented as nobody has done them before. Veeam has a proven track record of innovation in this new virtualization journey. Since introducing Veeam Backup & Replication in February 2008, Veeam has introduced a large number of industry firsts: backup and replication in one product, instant file recovery, built-in deduplication, support for ESXi, support for vSphere, etc.

With Veeam Backup & Replication v5, we're taking Virtualization-Powered Data Protection to a whole new level, a level that we feel positions Veeam ahead of every other backup dinosaur on the market today. As Joe Kelley pointed out in his response, there is a history of "niche" players in new technology markets getting acquired. Many niche players enter a market with the sole strategy of getting acquired. Of course these niche players also help grow markets by introducing innovative features based on technology that the dinosaurs are just too slow to adopt. If Veeam's strategy was to get acquired, don't you think that would have happened already? Veeam is self-funded so we don't have a bunch of VC's trying to tell us what to do.

So, I ask everyone to take a look at our upcoming release featuring vPower. In fact, take a look at these blog posts that all preview vPower-enabled features and functionality. Is it going to take time to change minds? Yes. Do we still have further to go with our technology? Yes. Are we planning on stopping? Hell no!

Maybe the real question should be: Can the dinosaurs catch up to Veeam?

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