Veeam & Rubrick Tap More Cash for Data Management


By: Michael Vizard

Millions of additional investment dollars poured into the data protection sector this week as a battle for control over how data gets managed in the age of the cloud becomes increasingly heated.

Both Veeam and Rubrik this week tapped into existing venture capital relationships to shore up their funding. Veeam announced that Insight Venture Partners has increased its minority stake by investing an additional $500 million. Rubrik, meanwhile, announced it has raised an additional $261 million in funding from Bain Capital Ventures, a new investor, and existing investors that include Lightspeed Ventures, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures, and IVP.

In total, over $553 million has now been invested in Rubrik to address a data management market valued by International Data Corp. (IDC) at roughly $48 billion. Based on the investments already made, Rubrik now values itself at $3.3 billion.

Rubrik and archrival Cohesity have been at the forefront of an effort to modernize data protection using cloud-based services. Rubrik and Cohesity have created platforms that embed a range of data management tools that make it possible to recover data in minutes across a virtualized infrastructure. Those capabilities over the past year have allowed both companies to disrupt an already crowded field of data protection providers. As an established leader in that segment, Veeam is in the process of modernizing its own data protection portfolio, says Ratmir Timashev, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Veaam.

Veeam: Double-digit Quarterly Growth

Timashev says Veeam disrupted the data protection space by embracing virtual machines ten years ago, growing at a double-digit rate for 40 consecutive quarters. Now the battle is shifting into the cloud.

“Dominance of the next 10 years will be all about hybrid clouds,” says Timashev.

What’s fundamentally changing going forward is that there will be much more emphasis on comprehensive approaches to managing data versus simply trying to protect it. Much of the focus today is on modernizing arcane data protection processes. But as IT organizations make that transition, they will discover that the platforms they embrace to modernize data protection will also be employed to, for example, move data between cloud platforms. Those capabilities will become especially critical as organizations increasingly contend with the massive amounts of data required to drive artificial intelligence (AI) models.

Cohesity: Analytics & AI Next

In fact, much of the investments being made in data protection are simply a recognition of how critical a business asset data has become, says Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer for Cohesity.

“Data protection is just a small part,” says Lucas. “Beyond being able to recover data, organizations want to be able to gain insights into that data.”

Lucas says it’s still early days as far as AI is concerned, but it’s already apparent organizations want to move beyond point products to manage their data more holistically, including being able to respond to adroitly to cybersecurity threats such as ransomware that require organizations to have ready access to pristine copies of their data to thwart the encryption that cybercriminals are employing to prevent organizations from using their own data.

It’s too early to say whether more modern approaches to managing data in the age of the cloud will finally force a shakeout across the tens of vendors, including Dell EMC, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Veritas Technologies, and Arcserve, all of which offer a variety of data protection products and services today. But one way or another, data management, and by extension data protection, is being transformed.