Old School Meets New With Veeam Cristie Partnership

Veeam and Cristie announce a new partnership – we speak to Veeam’s APJ head of engineering Raymond Goh about the partnership.
DSA was surprised and fascinated to hear the news that Veeam is forming a partnership with UK company Cristie Software. The press release is provided in full below, but we wanted to shed more light on the announcement and managed to grab some time with Veeam’s APJ head of Systems Engineering Raymond Goh to ask him about this unexpected partnership.

We started by pointing out that Veeam is firmly planted in the “new world” of virtualisation and software-defined, whereas Cristie has its root very firmly in the physical world with it leading UNIX Bare Metal Recovery products. We wondered if there was any chance that this was a backward step into legacy for Veeam?

Raymond explained that the move might be unexpected, but it made sense in light of Veeam’s wider strategy of enabling the always-on enterprise. Which means that Veeam wants to help any customer, with any data, on any app, regardless of cloud or platform. The move to support x86 was well received and successful and Unix is a real part of the enterprise, so it fits nicely into our “always-on” vision. Raymond is clear this is not a backwards step. He explained that Veeam continues to encourage and assist their customer to virtualise and move to cloud, but many applications need to remain on Unix and will do so for a long time to come and Veeam does not want to “forget” these applications.

We put the question to Raymond whether the partnership was driven by customer demand or a desire to reach higher into the enterprise.

Raymond replied that the partnership has actually been driven by both. He explained that in the last two years, in particular, Veeam has been having real success moving into the enterprise and have found increasingly that enterprise customers ask about Unix support. So in that respect, customer feedback has certainly contributed to this decision. At the same time Unix is clearly most prevalent in enterprise-class IT, so forming this partnership is an indicator that Veeam is finding increasing success in enterprise accounts.

We tried to dig a little further on just how tightly the Cristie product and Veeam’s products are integrated. Raymond clarified that this announcement is highlighting the start of the collaboration and partnership between the two companies. It will be several months before the first offering is available. So he was not able to give specific details but did explain the companies are already working together on integration and the intention is that this effort will be ongoing.

We expressed some doubt as to whether Veeam’s existing channel partners have the skills and experience to service the Unix market. Raymond believes they do, many of them are already delivering enterprise solutions that include Unix systems. At the same time, Raymond also believes that this partnership may lead to new relations with a new set of partners that have even deeper Unix skills. (Note from DSA editor -  As an aside, in our opinion, we feel the typical Veeam partner may actually lack Unix skills so we would hope that Veeam engage Cristie to assist in education and support of its partner system)

We finished the conversation with Raymond by asking if any other partnerships or acquisitions were likely in the near future. We didn’t get any scoop on an impending purchase, but Raymond did shed some light on Veeam's partnership strategy. He highlighted that Veeam has a rich history of alliances with major vendors like HPE, Dell EMC, Cisco and NetApp. He also explained that partnerships are very important to the strategy. Veeam is not building point products or even a suite of products. Rather they are building a comprehensive availability platform. Any technology that can expand the breadth of that availability platform is interesting to Veeam. So whilst he wasn’t at liberty to give us a “reveal” on the next big partnership, he was able to confirm that he expects more alliances and partnerships with companies that help meet the objective of building a comprehensive availability platform.

Our final thought is that Cristie is a company that achieved its success on the back of partnerships. This partnership by Veeam with Cristie is not obvious but in our view makes good sense for both companies.

Full Press Release follows:

Kuala Lumpur: November 21, 2017:  Veeam® Software, the Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ innovator, today announced that it has extended its portfolio of Availability solutions to support IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris operating environments.  Enterprise customers can now replace their legacy backup solution with a single comprehensive data protection and Availability solution to protect mission-critical applications, systems and data that exist in enterprise environments. Veeam’s support for IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris, via a technology partnership with Cristie Software, enables enterprises to drive business transformation via a single comprehensive Availability platform for physical, virtual and cloud workloads. Cristie has proven technology with over 3,000 customers worldwide and more than 1,000 enterprises using its software specifically for AIX and Solaris systems.
“Veeam’s strategy is to extend its leadership position in VMware and Hyper-V to deliver Availability for any app, any data on any cloud. Today we further deliver on our strategy by announcing support for IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris,” stated Peter McKay, Co-CEO and President at Veeam.  “Enterprises need to enhance business efficiency and security, while embracing the cloud, but many mission-critical databases and applications are still running, and will continue to run, on AIX and Solaris.  As we expand the Veeam Availability Platform to meet the needs of our growing enterprise customer base, we are pleased to extend support for physical workloads in these environments, in addition to Windows and Linux. Enterprise customers can now replace legacy backup solutions with a single comprehensive data protection and Availability solution from Veeam.”
Based on technology developed by Cristie Software, Veeam’s support for IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris operating environments will be further enhanced and integrated into Veeam Availability Platform. Cristie’s software solutions helps organizations protect, recover and move critical machines to dissimilar hardware, hypervisor and cloud environments, as part of their migration strategies and DR planning. Cristie provides instant system recovery, recovery simulation, flexible machine migration and hot standby functionality. 
With the Veeam Availability Platform, Veeam enables any business to deliver the Digital Life experience users expect, delivering the next generation of Availability for the Always-On Enterprise.  It provides businesses and enterprises of all sizes with the means to ensure Availability for any application and any data, across any cloud infrastructure.  Veeam support for IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris further extends its industry leading data protection for virtualization to include physical and cloud environments, specifically providing:

  • Non-Stop Business Continuity to instantly recover any app, any data on any cloud;

  • Digital Transformation Agility with multi-cloud data management and migration — choose your Cloud, your way;

  • Analytics and Visibility with actionable insights for data management, operational performance and compliance

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