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  • Writer's pictureMatt Tyrer

Data Protection: Competitive News Makers (September 2023)

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

There's a lot going on in the data protection and cyber security markets - it can be hard to keep up with all the news. That's where The Competitive Corner's Newsletter comes in, to help curate and distill the most pertinent movers and shakers each month to make your job easier.

September 2023 was a busy month in the industry with key competitive news coverage from #Gartner, #Snyk, #Cohesity, #Veeam, #AvePoint, #Commvault, and #Druva. Below you'll find a breakdown of why these news items matter to you, links to the original articles, and related blogs for further research and insights.


September 2023 Competitive Headlines:

(click any headline to jump directly to the analysis)


Gartner publishes their 2023 Critical Capabilities report for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions

Why it Matters?

Alongside the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions (EBRSS), Gartner also publishes a companion report known as the Critical Capabilities report. While the MQ focuses on the backup vendor's business vision, strategy, understanding of the market, and their ability to execute that vision across sales, marking, and product, the Critical Capabilities report is all about the product offerings themselves.

This year, Gartner evaluated 14 vendors across 15 critical capabilities and 7 new use cases. This is a significant change from the 2022 report which only contained 3 use cases. The use cases this year are:

  • On-Premises

  • On-Premises and SaaS

  • Hybrid/Multicloud

  • Hybrid/Multicloud and SaaS

  • Data Services

  • Disaster Recovery

  • Ransomware Detection, Protection, and Recovery

The separate "and SaaS" use cases highlight that many vendors address SaaS via separate standalone tools. This year, there were 2 clear winners in the Critical Capabilities:

  1. Commvault is considered the leader placing 1st in 6 of the 7 use cases and 2nd in the only one it didn't outright win (Data Services).

  2. Veritas placed 2nd overall following behind Commvault in 5 of 7 use cases, and placing 1st for Data Services.

The rest of the top 5 varied by use case and included Cohesity, Veeam, Druva, HYCU, Dell, and Rubrik depending on the category. Surprisingly, despite all their marketing around being a "Data Security Company", Rubrik placed 3rd in the use case for Ransomware Detection, Protection, and Recovery...

A detailed breakdown of the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Backup is available here. A similar one for the Critical Capabilities is coming soon. The full Gartner Critical Capabilities report is available to Gartner subscribers or from one of the many vendors evaluated.


Snyk Gets Nod of Approval with ServiceNow Strategic Investment

[Link to Original Article ]

Why it Matters?

Snyk has been very active in building out their finances - with over $200M USD raised since December 2022 this most recent investment from ServiceNow just shows how important DevSecOps is in today's marketplace. Uncovering vulnerabilities before the code get's published is critical to mitigating potential threats downstream in the supply chain. Snyk may not be the only ones out there doing this, but they certainly are leading the way.


Cohesity adds AI to its support portal for backups

Why it Matters?

Cohesity has launched a new service (free!) which is now available for all of its customers called the Cohesity AI Support Bot. This is the first official tool released by Cohesity that leverages its relatively new Cohesity Turing AI engine which was announced back in May 2023. This new chatbot will provide frontline customer support for Cohesity customers to help them quickly resolve issues and understand errors they may be encountering. This certainly could go a long way in lowering customer support calls as many questions and issues likely could be resolved easily by the Support Bot without needing further investigation or input from the CS team itself.

Still, if the model is leveraging data from multiple Cohesity customers to train, there are questions that need to be answered regarding data privacy, handling of potential hallucinations or misinformation, and of course auditing that the advice the Support Bot is providing is accurate and actually answering the questions customers are asking of it. Regardless, Cohesity isn't the first nor will they be the last to implement this technology for their customers - this will be interesting to see and evaluate how customers react to this new user experience.


AvePoint Announces Anchor Investment by 65 Equity Partners

Why it Matters?

Being a publicly traded company, anyone can buy up AVPT stock and in this case 65 Equity Partners has announced their acquisition of a ~9% stake in the AvePoint common stock. This investment is seen as a very positive endorsement of the stability of AvePoint, but also their roadmap and projected growth opportunities. Private Equity firms don't buy stuff to NOT make money, and 65 Equity is looking to make some profit off of AvePoint's continued successes in the market.


Alcion, which provides backup and security services to enterprises, raises $21M (from Veeam)

Why it Matters?

This was some interesting news indeed from Veeam - They are part of a $21M USD funding investment in M365 BaaS solution Alcion. So, that in itself is odd as Alcion technically competes against Veeam's own M365 Backup solution. This could be a signal of potential acquisition - Veeam could use a jump start in terms of their security capabilities, and Alcion could help fill that gap with their IP.

Alcion does have some anomaly detection capabilities for their M365 backup offering, which Veeam lacks currently - although the Alcion CEO was quick to state that they weren't built to be a "bolt on" security feature for another vendor. We'll see how this pans out...

Update: On October 5th, 2023 Veeam announced the launch of 2 new BaaS services based on newly acquired Cirrus Backup for M365 and Cirrus Backup for Azure solutions (acquired from CT4). This would certainly imply that Veeam has gone in another direction rather than exploring further work with Alcion.


Commvault names Industry Veteran Serv Saravanan as Chief Customer Officer

Why it Matters?

In a move to strengthen their customer relationships and loyalty, Commvault has added to their ranks with their first ever Chief Customer Officer: Sarv Saravanan. Sarv comes with a lot of experience in this as former head of Microsoft's Global Deliver Center where he would be tasked with handling their biggest customers and partners - and keeping them happy. With Commvault still aiming at the $1B mark, building a stronger and more happier customer base will be key.


Veeam launches Backup for Nutanix AHV v5.0

Why it Matters?

Veeam's product portfolio is made up of multiple products that can be separately consumed. In this case, Veeam has released the latest version of their AHV backup product today adding in a few key features:

  • New support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for backup admins...which seems rather overdue given the current security climate

  • New support for Windows VMs running BitLocker

  • Enhanced performance with support for CBT read-ahead backup

Of course, there's a slew of other minor enhancements around scalability, performance, and improved operations (updated Wizard!). A full set of release notes, where you can read more about those details, are available here:


Written by Matt Tyrer. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

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