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What will result from Cohesity’s Veritas acquisition?

The $7bn backup giant will leverage huge assets in enterprise customer base, compliance and governance intelligence, AI, R&D, and Kubernetes backup and storage

Cohesity’s planned purchase of Veritas will see a relative newcomer, born in the cloud era, take control of a longstanding and huge presence in the backup market.

With the buy, Cohesity will gain the assets of a competitor with a large number of enterprise accounts and a healthy R&D department to add to its burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) through its portfolio, compliance- and data governance-oriented products, as well as Kubernetes storage, data protection and management.

Cohesity announced the acquisition last week, and it’s likely to form a data protection giant valued at around $7bn, closing by the end of 2024.

The announcement comes as Rubrik – a direct competitor of Cohesity – revealed its intention to hit the markets with an IPO in April to raise funds for rapid expansion.

Cohesity and Rubrik were both founded in 2013, and born into a world of backup in the hybrid cloud era. Both came with a focus on deployment of appliances at the customer site to carry out local backups while sending protected data to the cloud. From there, they can restore with minimal delay on virtual resources anywhere, should a primary site be taken down by a cyber attack, for example. Such services are fully automated and much less costly than one configured for hybrid cloud by hand.

Both backup products are built around rapid search functionality that allows for quick recovery from backups of files deleted in error, the capacity to convert virtual machines to cloud format on the fly, and AI-assisted support portals. For now, that AI helps the support process, but Cohesity aims to leverage that AI to bring production data held in backups to training models.

Meanwhile, Veritas is a backup veteran founded in the 1980s, bought and then sold again by Symantec, although actually under the tutelage of the Carlyle Group private equity organisation.

What will Veritas bring to Cohesity?

Veritas has a historic, international customer base comprised of very large accounts and a bias towards on-site backups and conformance with data governance. It was a latecomer to the cloud and adapted its product in that direction, with version 8.2 of NetBackup in 2019.

Cohesity’s purchase of Veritas will allow consolidation of the two companies’ commercial activities into a 10,000 customer, $1.6bn-a-year turnover business. At the same time, benefits in R&D are expected to accrue to the new company.

For example, beyond simple backup, Veritas has analytics functionality that allows enterprises to audit their compliance with regulation and laws in force. That’s particularly important, for example, in situations where backups contain potentially sensitive information, and it may be moved to cloud storage in a different region and subject to different compliance regimes.

Finally, Veritas also has Infoscale, which provides persistent storage and management for Kubernetes clusters, and so provides some rivalry for Pure Storage and NetApp. While Veritas is not particularly associated with this segment of the market, for Cohesity to have this kind of capability could work out well strategically. Currently, the market leader in this segment is Kasten, from Veeam, which is number one in backup software.

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