On 11th of October 2015 in a blog by Drew Meyer Senior Director, Global Product Marketing at Symantec, it was quietly announced that Symantec will be pulling the Backup Exec Based Backup Appliance from the market in January next year.
The announcement taken directly from the blog reads as follows:
"After careful review of evolving market dynamics, we have made the decision to stop selling the Backup Exec appliance as of January 5, 2015. We believe we bring more value to our customers by designing quality Backup Exec software. Providing our partners with Backup Exec software that they can bundle with hardware and services best meets the needs of our small and mid-sized business customers looking for a combined offering."
At DSA we have long been skeptical about the Purpose Built Backup Appliance market claims. Based on anecdotal feedback from numerous sources, we have argued that despite purported growth in revenues, this market is propped up by sales of deduplication devices.
However at this stage we are not claiming that this announcement proves our hunch. There could be commercial reasons why Symantec have made this decision. They have commercial partners like Dell and Fujitsu who will be pleased that Symantec can support their own appliances without competing against them. In addition Backup Exec has long been a channel product and many channel partners prefer to integrate backup exec into their own hardware solutions.
Further the announcement does go on to say that the NetBackup Appliances will continue to be developed and sold. NetBackup has lent itself to direct Touch enterprise selling where Symantec have more control in the sales cycle and is perhaps commercially less sensitive for Symantec to continue to market.
The Data protection market is getting interesting, according to Gartner 40% of enterprises companies are preparing to augment their backup solution by 2017, we are seeing numerous companies gearing up to capitalise on this. Interestingly at DSA we are not convinced it will be the appliances that fulfill this demand. When it comes to backup and data protection are hunch is that most people want the flexibility to separate their backup hardware from the software.
Perhaps this announcement by Symantec is an indication that we are right.