Before I joined Veeam I spent all my career working for service providers. I spent my first 7 years working for a hosting provider working on Windows and Linux systems. At that stage there was really no competition around in terms of what platform you hosted a website on… if the developer was writing in .NET it was IIS and Windows… if they where writing in PHP it was an LAMP based stack, but even at that stage we let the customer decide based on their requirements.
For backup, we also had limited choices… BackupExec was the best of breed and did the job well. It was a simple decision to make for the business in terms of who we partnered with to help backup the hosting platform. It was a much simpler time with not as many moving parts and applications being delivered through simpler means with data being backed up.
All of a Sudden… there was real Choice!
As I moved through my career and started working on Virtualization platforms, all of a sudden there was more choice. I remember when I was first introduced to Veeam. We had been using another new backup platform which failed in a disastrous way which forced us to look elsewhere. Veeam had the simplicity and reliability we required, but also already had features that SPs could leverage to enhance offerings.
I’ll never forget the first time I performed an Instant VM Recovery of a for a customer… literally thinking… This shit just works!
When Offsite to Cloud Backup become viable in the early 2010s I spent a lot of time researching different options and at Anittel, we released joint solutions for that purpose and let the customer decide which vendor to go with. I wrote a post called The Backup Delusion back then around the pain that caused… it makes for an interesting read still today.
When I joined Zettagrid, the company had already standardized on Veeam to backup their IaaS platforms based on VMware Cloud Director. In 2013 we started offering Zerto for DRaaS which was brilliant technology. In 2014 we introduced Veeam Cloud Connect Backup and that quickly became the highest growing product in Zettagrid History. As I was leaving Zettagrid we where looking at VMware’s vCloud Availability to be offered side by side with Veeam Cloud Connect Replication and Zerto… again… given the customer flexibility of choice.
Best of breed Technology and Flexibility of Choice
As a technologist working on new product offerings, it was incumbent on me to make sure I was testing the market. Vendors continued to come out of the woodwork wanting my attention so that I could test their solutions in my lab. A lot of my roles through the time before I joined Veeam was testing new products and solutions and seeing if any one offered benefit over the ones we had already productized and where offering services from.
Working for a vendor, the hope is that as many customers and partners use your technology over your competition. We are not here to make up numbers and we all want to be part of successful organisations, and for me, when it comes to cloud and service providers I would hope they use Veeam Backup & Replication as the core of their IaaS, BaaS and DRaaS offerings however I am also of the belief that they would be doing themselves a disservice to not leverage other vendors for side by side use cases.
This is why I don’t get worried when I see big headlines about new strategic partnerships with vendor X or vendor Y. Marketing and perception is everything in this business, but I also know that under the surface there are very smart technical decision makers make the right choices for they customers and partners. Most of the time in this industry we let the technology dictate the customer outcome… but I’ve always felt that good service providers are governed by what customers actually need and then craft service offerings based on specific requirements.