With more data than ever pouring into cloud services, the need to protect that data from being stolen or encrypted by a ransomware attack led Veritas Technologies yesterday to announce it has acquired HubStor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for backing up data stored in cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365, Slack, and Box, HubStor has primarily focused its efforts on roughly 100 large enterprise customers. The acquisition will enable HubStor to be sold by a much larger Veritas entity that already has a large enterprise sales team in place, said HubStor CEO Geoff Bourgeois. “We’ve been known as a scrappy startup,” he said in an interview with VentureBeat.
Veritas plans to continue to offer the HubStor service alongside an existing portfolio of data protection tools that are also already employed widely by enterprise IT organizations, said Simon Jelley, vice president and general manager for the Backup Exec business at Veritas.
More of those enterprise IT organizations are also starting to appreciate the fact that providers of cloud services are not going to protect their data from, for example, a ransomware attack, he noted. Under the shared responsibility models adopted by cloud service providers, Jelley said it’s become clear that organizations are responsible for implementing their own data protection policies.
Rather than build its own platform to address that requirement, Veritas determined it was going to be simpler to acquire HubStor. ‘It was a build versus buy equation for us,” said Jelley.
Veritas is currently owned by the Carlyle Group, which acquired the company from Symantec in 2014 for $8 billion in cash before relaunching the company as Veritas Technologies in 2016. Since then, Veritas has been focused on making available a suite of data management tools that include data protection offerings. Major data protection rivals include Dell Technologies, Commvault, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), Rubrik, Barracuda Networks, Cohesity, Veeam, Druva, and many others.
Naturally, HubStor is not the only provider of data protection tools aimed at cloud services. However, the company has built a SaaS platform for enterprise IT organizations that need to protect massive amounts of data residing in multiple cloud services. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of data residing in these platforms has exponentially increased as employees relied on them more to share files while working from home.
The rise of ransomware has made enterprise IT organizations more cognizant of the need to protect that data. The only way to effectively combat a ransomware attack is to make sure a pristine unencrypted copy of data stored in a cloud service is readily available on another platform that has not been comprised.
Competition among providers of data protection platforms remains fierce. With the arrival of each new type of IT platform, a different approach to backing up and recovering data has been required.
That requirement has led over the years to the creation of a series of data protection startups each time a new IT platform has gained any traction. Eventually, incumbent vendors add support for the new platform, but not before the startup company has attained long-term viability. The data protection category consequently has proven itself to be fairly resistant to consolidation trends that have impacted other IT sectors.
Whether that continues to be the case remains to be seen. However, the fortunes of providers of data protection offerings appear to be buoyed by the need to make sure pristine copies of data are always available in the event of a ransomware attack. So long as another approach to solving the ransomware issues emerges, it’s likely that will continue to be the case for many years to come.
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