back to article Is that a Veeam in HPE's eye? IT giant may gobble backup biz

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is interested in buying Veeam, sources tell us. This sounds like speculation because it would be such a good acquisition for HPE – giving it the world’s leading independent backup software company and being, in a software sense, the equivalent of EMC buying Data Domain. However, HPE has recently …

  1. K Silver badge
    Unhappy

    So the future looks something like this:

    1) Aquire Veeam

    2) Rebadge it as HP Veeam Supreme Cream Backup for Virtualisation

    3) Sell it for 2-3 years, but bury it amongst the other 10 back-up products

    4) Let the innovation stagnate due to corporate interference and fear of product cross-over

    4) Realise the mistake, find new target for acquisition

    5) Rinse and repeat..

    I'm not a fan of Veeam, but even I recognise the impact they had on modernising the backup market.. this is just a bad idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HPE sold the legacy SW business off which included their 2 x backup software products - DataProtector and TriLead. So your view of the future was badly informed and somewhat outdated even before you got started.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You say that, but Step 4 still looks on the money to me

      2. Adam R

        Actually that kind of supports K's assertions does it not. The bought TriLead tried to rinse it for a few years without really investing or integrating, then chucked it in the bin whilst they go hunting for the next sacred cow.

        Also I thought the point of "divesting" the SW business was that the SW would flourish under MicroFocus and was already "world class"!? Now they want to go an buy products that basically replicate what they had!? Both Data Protector and Trilead where good products that where starved of investment and left in the corner to rot, if the story is true then Veeam is already a dead man walking, HPE just doesn't understand SW.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not really Trilead was a tactical buy for a small part of the old business and in reality hasn't been in HP long enough to make a call either way.

          As to DP show me any of the traditional enterprise backup vendors who are making much of a mark in these days of virtualization, copy management and cloud.

          The exception is probably CommVault but they diversified early to doing much more than traditional backup under the hood of a single product.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm not a fan of Veeam"

      Is there a particular reason to dislike it? It's something I'm considering for the next backup refresh so user reviews are something I'm keen to collect.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We use it for our VM backups. Generally very competent, lots of options and works fairly reliably - we get the occassional failed replica, but generally reliable. The replicas are run every couple of hours and we have a couple of failures a month (usually server timeouts). Like every product, it has its foibles, but I'm generally impressed.

        The Veeams go to a second backup server room (separate building) at regular intervals during the day, then backups are generated and written to tape every day.

        Fan? No. But it is a good and competent product

        Signed NOT K.

      2. K Silver badge
        Meh

        My dislike of them comes down to attitude towards customers - Which mainly includes arrogance.. But thats from my personal dealings with them.. your experience may differ.

        As @AC above said, its a competent product. But I'd highly recommend taking a look at others including Nakivo and Unitrends..

      3. steve 124

        We've been using it for our VMWare environment for about 2 years. It's amazing and light years beyond the BEX software we used before. It is missing a few features (I had to script a way to pull SSDs for off-site, because it's designed for site-to-site replication) and the actual file level restore wording is scary as hell the first time you do it (it makes me think I'm going to accidentally restore the whole VM every single time, but it just needs a few "don't worry, we promise we're getting only the files you asked for" popups to re-assure jumpy admins.

        If you're using VMWare, Veeam is your boy... Until HPE spoils it.

    3. mr. deadlift

      You forgot to shit-tier the vendor support.

      Also being a great product, Veeam alongside their customer support is just a delight if you need to engage. (in Aus at least)

      I hope HPE stay away from this one.

      Maybe they are trying to prevent Dell getting into it for the ultimate VMware and DR/Relica/Backup stack.

  2. thondwe
    Stop

    Bad news

    HPE buy Veeam, options...

    1) Re-brand it with a stupid name - HP Data Protector V1000x (Everyone calls it Veeam anyway)

    2) Keep the name, but replace the product with HP Data Protector...

    3) Kill it, as Veeam is one of the best reasons for running VMware! HPE - are in the "Azure Stack/Pack" place now...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on

    What ever happened to "HP Invent"? In fact, do any of the big boys invent anything these days?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Hang on

      Generally not. The problem with large companies buying smaller ones and leveraging their experience to increase profitability means something similar to the below in the real world....

      Fire all of the decent support staff at the company they've just bought and outsource the support to India because it's cheaper. Then replace the managers who built the company who are now retiring with the proceeds of sale with a committee of experienced managers who've never used the product (and never will) to consider the future direction of the product and company.

      The developers paid in proportion to their high talent leave to other jobs (replaced with generic developers from $largecompany who couldn't just walk in most companies to a joyous welcome) and the price of the product gets jacked up to the point people say "screw this, I'm using something else" at which point the same managers calculate if the number of customers leaving is worth the increased price.

      A few years later, they wonder why their install base has stopped rising by a few thousand a year, and is now dropping proportionately.

    2. Miss Lincolnshire

      Re: Hang on

      Only elaborate excuses for mass redundancies

    3. Rob Commins

      Re: Hang on

      "HP Invent" . . . Damn you, autocorrect! . . . "HP Invest"

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hang on

      Different company. You are thinking of HP.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for Veeam if true

    They are a classy group that executes really well. If it's true, I'm happy for that team.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good for Veeam if true

      "They are a classy group that executes really well. If it's true, I'm happy for that team."

      Those two sentences together do not compute.

      Either: "I hate them and them and think they'll get their just desserts by being taken over by HPE"

      or: "I wish them well and hope they can escape HPE's grasp"

      sound much better wishes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good for Veeam if true

        Veeam is a privately held company. I'm assuming that any acquisition terms they accept are in the best interests of the financial stakeholders including employees. So yes, I am happy for the employees if they have a successful and profitable exit. They are good people and deserve as much.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huh?

    "Enterprise license bookings grew 57 per cent annually"

    "Veeam's full 2016 year revenue bookings revenues were $607.4m. That suggests an acquisition price in the $1.5bn to $2bn area might be attractive to Veeam's owners"

    Why would anyone sell a healthy business for the amount they will make in the next 2 years? 10x of your numbers would be a fair amount for the market leader with 250,000 customers and growing 50,000 customers per year.

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      That's not how much they'd _make_ in the next two years - that's the revenue. There's a big difference between revenue and profit. If their margin is (say) 30% then you're looking at 4-5 years. Even then, that's selling it off pretty cheap in my eyes. Especially when you consider that it's only 1.5-2 Instagrams...

  6. GingerOne

    God I hope this doesn't happen. Veeam is bloody brilliant. I don't pretend to undestand all that it does. All I know is that when I need something back I can go to the server team and they can literally get me back anything from a single file to an entire server in a matter of minutes from 5 minutes ago to hours, days, weeks months.

    We use HP hardware for hosts but that's as far as it goes. They seem to be one of those monolithic companies that things like Veeam easily get lost in.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?

    Best backup product I have used for mid-sized environments and now it's going to be borged by HPE...which inevitably means fire the support, fire the managers, jack the price up by at least 50% via dissection of the licensing out to 30 variations each one missing a major feature that used to be in the main package.

    "Oh, you mean you also wanted to RESTORE your data? That's only with Super Premium Enterprise Doubleplus gud version which you don't have licensing for. Let me get you over to sales."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      "Oh, you mean you also wanted to RESTORE your data? That's only with Super Premium Enterprise Doubleplus gud version which you don't have licensing for. Let me get you over to sales."

      At what point did HP or HPE ever do that with either of their legacy backup products ? That's right they didn't, and they already sell Veaam direct as part of the HPE Complete program.

      So assuming any of this is anything more than a Chris stirring the pot, then why would they want to do that now ?

  8. ozor
    Facepalm

    Please don't...

    Does anyone remember vRanger, it was once at the cutting edge and a real contender to Veeam in the virtual backup estate. First it was sold to Quest, then Quest to Dell, and now it slowly is fading away into obscurity :(

    Whereas Veeam continued to grow, add new good and wanted functionality but sticking to a clean simple interface which does not require day to day hand holding.

    The day HPE buy Veeam will be a sad day and time to stop recommending it :(

  9. radar100

    Oh dear heavens no!!! Fantastic for SME's and just gets on with the job most of the time, not hard to get set up, tape interaction could do with some work, but all in all a great product that will be gutted dissected and basically destroyed if HPE get their hands on it.......

  10. returnofthemus

    This would be just too funny for words, if it happens?

    SGI, Simplivity, Nimble and now this, surely it would be better off just putting up the For Sale sign.

    I would've thought the whole point of HP splitting itself in two was an effort to streamline it's business, not only has it been dissecting pieces of itself post-split, it's also acquiring wholesale replacement piece parts, talk about pissing in the wind.

  11. WireBug

    Like every other time a large company buys a successful smaller one, HP will hose this product.... We have a small network compared to an enterprise, but Veeam has been a rock solid product since we started using it. I've even had to use their support a couple times and they were amazing. At no point during the support did I feel like they were trying to "rush me through the door" and were genuinely helpful in resolving my issues.

    I really hope HP does not try to mess with the software, it's a great product, please don't screw it up. I been so much happier since I left BackupExec in the past :)

  12. picturethis
    Devil

    I used to think Veeam sucked, but

    I used to think Veeam sucked, but when I started comparing their backup software to competitors, Veeam is okay...

    The company I work for uses Veeam for backing up 2 small-mid size VM systems and Veeam (the company) has 2 things going for it:

    1) Veeam backup does a reasonable job for what it says it does in a virtual environment

    2) Veeam's backup products is one of the few Enterprise backup software solutions that does not charge per volume of data backed up

    I truly hope that HPE doesn't/can't afford to buy Veeam. We have HP hardware and dealing with HPE (post breakup) is 10x worse than before (breakup). And that's saying something, because pre-breakup their support sucked. Once you were able to convince Support that you needed new hardware, their Service Organization took care of it within the support contract's specified time, but getting to that point takes all of one's energy (and then some).

  13. BigMon

    For the love of jeebus please don't let this happen

    I've used VEEAM for years, since Symantec utterly munged Backup Exec.

    It will be a terribly sad day if HP acquire it as, inevitably, they will ruin all that is good about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For the love of jeebus please don't let this happen

      It's HPE, HP sell the PC's and printers, even so It would be a hard task to do a worse job than BackupExec.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC because I know where too many of the bodies were buried...

    SimpliVity and Nimble had some financial challenges that Veeam does not. Expect a substantial premium for Veeam that could make Meg and Antonio "fail the blink test."

    I think it will take $3 billion USD to close this deal?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best find some options!

    Disappear into the HPE quagmire!

    Still just found Altaro and what a dream, easy to use and support is awesome.

    Were a big user of VRanger and then Quest/Dell well and truly screwed that up!!!

  16. ptbbot
    Coat

    No way, they've got StoreOnce in the lineup. Why would they need another product?

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