We're building a wall and the over-30TB market is going to pay for it

ExaGrid CEO Bill Andrews on backup's major players

Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock
Have your backup in the cloud? Not necessarily says ExaGrid's CEO.

Interview After our relatively crude attempt to segment the backup market, ExaGrid CEO Bill Andrews got in touch wanting to talk about their way of divvying up the market. What he described seemed a neat enough way of doing it, and far better than our three-group attempt.

Bill is a say-it-as-he-sees-it guy who deals with backup, not digital transformation, IT agility, cognitive IT nor any other buzzword-driven marketing abstractions. Read what he says and see if his refreshing, cant-free views strike a chord with you.

How does ExaGrid view the backup market?

ExaGrid plays in the mid-market to enterprise space (customers with 30TB to PBs of data and 1,000 employees to tens and hundreds of thousands of employees). ExaGrid does not play in the SMB where Datto, Carbonite, Veeam, StorageCraft, Barracuda, and dozens of others play.

How do you segment the market?

I broke the market into multiple segments based on amount of data, number of copies kept (retention), number of IT staff, if they have a second data centre for DR or need a cloud play, etc.  

In the consumer or mom and pop shops you mostly see Datto. When they have a backup app to move data from their own onsite appliance to their own cloud you see Carbonite. If they backup apps to their own disk or to their own cloud then both of these companies are doing really well in this space.

And in the SMB market segment?

In the SMBs (few hundred employees) there is a wider group depending on whether the few IT staff each customer has decide to outsource or not.

  • Outsource backup
    • Datto backup apps to their own onsite appliance to their own cloud
    • Carbonite eVault to their own onsite appliance to their own cloud
    • Barracuda backup apps to their own onsite appliance to their own cloud
  • Customer runs onsite and outsources the offsite as they don't have a second data centre
    • Veeam onsite to disk run by the customer, and then to the Veeam reseller as the offsite cloud MSP
    • StorageCraft onsite to disk run by the customer, and then to the StorageCraft reseller as the offsite cloud MSP

The difference is the top group runs their own offsite cloud and the bottom group enables the resellers to be the offsite DR MSP.

And there are a few other fringe players such as Unitrends and Arcserve.

How do you view the upper mid-market to enterprise segment?

For us that's 30TB to petabytes of backup data, and the world changes as the customers have real IT departments, a need for weeks, months and years of retention, and a second data centre to replicate to for DR.

The minute a customer has a second data centre to replicate to for DR, it is rare that they look at a cloud play for backup. The ones that use cloud (smaller organisations) use it because they don't have a second data centre so they have no choice.

Which suppliers are active here?

For backup applications that dominate the 30TB to PBs area we see:

  • Veritas NetBackup, Commvault Simpana, IBM TSM , EMC DELL Networker, EMC DELL Avamar
  • Veeam is moving up market into this world with their backup app
  • Rubrik is trying to break into this market with the backup app and integrated appliance

What about backup storage?

For backup storage the customers over 30TB mostly only have limited choices. In all cases a customer can choose a target-side appliance to backup to, or use what each backup app individually offers:

  • Target Appliances
    • Dell EMC Data Domain
    • ExaGrid
    • HP StoreOnce
    • IBM ProtecTier
    • Quantum DXi

There is really no one else with any traction.

And for the individual backup apps?

With individual backup apps we see:

  • NetBackup – the 5330/5340 Veritas appliances or the five appliances above
  • Commvault – their own deduplication to disk or the five appliances above
  • TSM – their own deduplication to disk or the five appliances above
  • Networker – five appliances above
  • Avamar – Avamar appliances or Data Domain – this is a closed system

Which competing suppliers does ExaGrid actually meet on the ground?

For backup storage we see the following 90 per cent of the time:

  • Commvault deduplication to disk
  • Veritas appliances for NetBackup only
  • IBM TSM deduplication to disk
  • DELL EMC Data Domain for all backup apps
  • HP StoreOnce for all backup apps

Once in a while we also see Quantum DXi for all backup apps.

That seems a bit limited.

In our market we never see Datto, Carbonite, Barracuda, etc, etc, as ours is dominated by Veritas, Commvault, IBM and Dell EMC. There is a big wall that divides the under-30TB market and the above-30TB market, and all the players are very different on either side of that mark. ®

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