News/Trends

Cohesity Acquires Veritas: Challenges Emerge when 2 Companies Merge

Matt Tyrer, Director of Competitive Intelligence

In this blog, we look at the recent acquisition news from Cohesity and Veritas, discuss the challenges they will face due to their overlapping portfolio, and the critical questions their customers will have to face.

Setting a Precedent?

Last year, the Broadcom/VMware acquisition sent significant shockwaves through the tech industry, and despite assurances that “nothing would change,” things did. Once the ink on the paper dried, change came very quickly and customers were left with more questions than answers, including:

  • Who do I deal with for my current VMware needs?

  • What will my next renewal cost me?

  • How does this affect my long-term plans with the platform?

  • What will happen with the product roadmap?

There is a lot of instability as a result of these unknowns, and understandably, many VMware customers are exploring alternatives. In the end, this has left customers holding the bag and wondering what happens next.

Who’s Next?

Last week, news broke that after over 40 years in the industry, Veritas will essentially cease to exist. Cohesity will be acquiring Veritas' data protection business for a cool $3B in debt and financing. This will only include the NetBackup (SW and appliances) and ALTA SaaS Data Protection (Hubstor) products, with the remaining ex-Veritas portfolio (Enterprise Vault, eDiscovery, Analytics/Governance products) spun out into a new company that will be known as "DataCo."  

Of course, Cohesity and Veritas were both quick to put out their “No Customer Left Behind” assurances for customers, letting them know that all products will continue to be supported for years, nobody will be forced to migrate if they don’t want to, and the best of both vendors’ technologies will be brought together as part of a stronger portfolio. 

Having just heard these assurances during the Broadcom deal (and then seen very opposite results later), I’d imagine that many customers are skeptical. They’ll need to keep in mind the following...

3 Major Factors for Customers to Consider Amid the Chaos

1. Will I Lose My Product as They Reconcile Tech Stacks?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The Cohesity and Veritas product lines have nearly 100% overlap. Both vendors built their technology on a very infrastructure-centric approach: 

  • NetBackup (originally built in 1987) was backup software designed to run on a combination of primary control servers, various media servers (data movers), and storage targets — typically all physical.

  • Cohesity (founded in 2013) was written as a filesystem to run on converged/scale-out appliances. 

Sure, they’re both calling themselves cloud platforms in their respective marketing, but you fundamentally have a 30-year-old software built before the cloud existed and a filesystem that needs appliances (virtual or physical) to deliver its feature set. Both are fairly static, and neither is really cloud-ready. Why does that matter? Well, I’ll get to that later, but first, let's examine their portfolios in detail.

Customer Use Case

Cohesity

Veritas

Data Center / Hybrid Backup

Cohesity DataProtect

DataProtect as a Service

Veritas NetBackup

Cloud-Native Backup

Cohesity DataProtect

DataProtect as a Service

Veritas NetBackup

NetBackup CloudPoint (still hidden in NBU)

Microsoft 365 Backup

DataProtect as a Service (based in AWS)

Alta SaaS Protection (formerly HubStor, based in Azure)

SaaS Apps Backup

Third-Party (SFDC)

Alta SaaS Protection (formerly HubStor, based in Azure)

Kubernetes

OEM of Velero    

NetBackup 

Replication / DR

Cohesity SiteContinuity

Veritas Resiliency Platform (unclear if included in acquisition or not)

Ransomware

Cohesity DataHawk

Veritas NetBackup

Cloud Air-Gap

Cohesity FortKnox

Veritas Alta Recovery Vault(unclear if included in acquisition)

Cloud Control Plane

Cohesity Helios    

Veritas Alta View (unclear if included in acquisition)


So, you can see in nearly every use case each vendor has a first-party offering to fit that. No matter how much Cohesity/Veritas reiterate that they will keep both product lines, in reality, it will be unfeasible to maintain. There is no logic for keeping both, which means they either need to integrate the best of both worlds or pick a horse and run with it. 

Now, going back to my earlier comments around the fundamentals of HOW each core product was built, you can start to see the challenges even considering any level of integration: One is a filesystem built for scale-out appliances, another carries 30+ years of technical debt. It would be nigh-impossible to extract features from one and plug them into the other — these are two completely different approaches to data protection, resource management, operations, etc. The best customers can likely hope for is some rudimentary UI integration.

When companies merge, they might just not be a great fit


The rest…well the customers will just have to wait and see what happens there.

2. Could My Needs as a Customer Get Overlooked?

Well, this really is the crux of the issue, isn’t it? How does the acquisition of Veritas by Cohesity affect the customers in both the short and long term?

In the near term, customers would need to review any existing contracts they have with Veritas or Cohesity and evaluate whether they require re-writing (especially public sector, and FED/SLED). If you’re using a mix of Veritas products today whereby some will move to Cohesity and others will move to the new “DataCo” business entity, you’ll have to examine what impacts the acquisition will have on those agreements as well. Any renewals for either Cohesity or Veritas should be heavily scrutinized as there is no clear path (as yet) in terms of what solution roadmaps will look like in the next 24-72 months. Do you invest today in a solution that might not exist in 2-3 years? Looking at the earlier table showing the sizable overlap in products, there is a lot of uncertainty about long-term viability.

There are, of course, other non-technical questions to consider for customers. 

  • What will product technical support look like? 

  • Who will you engage with? 

  • Will you need to change the partner/VAR you were working with? 

  • What about the account team? 

Sadly, there will be staff reductions as a result of this acquisition and it will impact many customers in terms of the overall relationship they have with the vendor(s).

For current Cohesity and Veritas customers, or those who are considering evaluating their solutions, the future is pretty hazy — it’s difficult to predict what will happen once the transaction is completed sometime in the next 12-ish months, but if recent post-M&A actions are any indication, there are bound to be changes. 

3. Could it be Time for a Change? — Your Data Deserves Better Than Legacy

So, with all this uncertainty, it might be time to consider something else… Druva's got your back when it comes to keeping your data safe and sound. Our 100% SaaS approach practically runs itself and includes everything you need to secure all your data from day one — storage, compute, software, and security, all bundled up neatly. The best part? Customers switching to Druva from our legacy, on-premises competitors typically see TCO savings of up to 40%.

Interested to learn more? Start a free trial (no credit card required) or take a self-paced tour of the Druva platform to see just how easy it is to backup, manage, and recover your data via the cloud. And read about how Druva customer OneSpan made the leap from legacy to modernize, simplify, and cut total costs in half.