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Arcserve on split-up with CA Technologies: 'We’re a startup now. We’re really hungry'

We're profitable and we'll stay profitable - sales veep

Analysis Arcserve execs are insisting that the business's recent spinout from software giant CA to Marlin should help it compete better in the market.

While CA may have decided to invest the money from the sell-off of arcserve elsewhere, the data protection biz says its product has a bright future, as VP worldwide sales Chris Ross was at pains to explain.

Arcserve has been an independent business unit within CA – the data management unit or DMU – for the past three years and went through a May launch of arcserve unified protection (UDP).

Ross says there are about 43,000 SME and enterprise arcserve customers on active maintenance. The largest is the Employment Ministry in Germany, with more than 7,000 servers in 2,500 data centres. Overall, arcserve has 7,500 resellers worldwide and some 700 MSPs use it to provide backup to their customers.

Ross said: “We’re a profitable business today. We can grow faster than we have been and will continue to be profitable.”

There are no plans for Marlin to insert additional IP from elsewhere in its technology portfolio into arcserve. With the installed base it has, simplified products and roadmap, arcserve can grow satisfactorily on its own, and invest in its business development itself, says Ross.

Analysts tell the arcserve execs that 30 per cent of end-user customers will change their data protection product set over the next couple of years. There are few green field sites, with Ross saying: ”It’s a replacement market... Symantec is the biggest share donor in the market”

Customers will move away from their existing backup products in pursuit of lower cost, simplified operation and generally better protection. And arcserve reckons that’s what it can provide. Ross said: “We’ve integrated the (product) pieces and made it really simple. … Any solution has to be simple tom manage and deploy and to scale.”

The simplified approach includes licensing per TB/per socket for virtual servers, and cutting out thousands of SKUs (orderable product items identified by Stock-Keeping Units) leaving just a handful behind.

He contrasts this with CommVault’s complexity: ”CommVault … needs $1.50 of professional services for every dollar spent on product. We don’t need that level of professional services.”

What about Veeam? “Veeam is just for virtual servers. Customers want one solution [for P and V servers.]”

Ross says the sweet marketing spot for arcserve is the mid-market, where enterprise features are needed with medium business simplicity and prices – a common enough view.

Roadmappery

There will probably be arcserve UDP updates in October and May next year and newer platforms should be supported:

  • the latest VMware and Hyper-V products
  • SQL 2014
  • Array-based hardware snapshots may be supported as well

The company is looking to extend its capability to provide assured recovery and provide fully-automated disaster recovery testing, with recovery measuring and monitoring. Ross said arcserve RHA (replication and high availability) “does automated DR testing in sandbox and we’ll [fully] integrate that into UDP. … [and] provide levels of RPO and RTO.”

Microsoft and VMware

Ross admitted that arcserve had a Microsoft-centric approach: “It’s a core attribute to be heterogeneous [and] we’re investing a lot in Hyper-V as well as VMware, but it’s Microsoft first.”

What about VVOL compliance? “We don’t need to be VVOL-compliant because we work at the array level," notes Ross.

And VSAN? “It’s a further extension of VMware’s wish to control the storage infrastructure [and] we can orchestrate all their snapshots. VSAN is an issue/opportunity/problem for any software provider working at the physical array level.”

He mentioned cloud storage gateways in the context of arcserve backing up to the cloud, Amazon and Eucalyptus for example, and being certified with (now EMC’s) Twin Strata and Riverbed’s Whitewater: “I see them as point products becoming features.”

Overall, Ross said, “We’re a startup now. We’re really hungry.”

Arcserve aims to surprise a lot of people and will be ramping up awareness of its presence in the market and its products, says Ross. The keywords are “simple” and “unified” and arcserve is raring to show what it can do on its own against long-lived competitors like CommVault, Symantec and others, as well as the newer, quicker-moving startups like Asigra, NAKIVO, Quorum, Unitrends, Veeam and more. Game on. ®

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