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Will Symantec ship more backup appliances than EMC in 2 years?

Level 4

The growth trajectory of Symantec’s backup appliance business demonstrates that customers believe in our vision and the value of our solutions. IDC tracks the backup appliance market and calls it the Purpose Built Backup Appliance (PBBA) market. Over the last 3 years, Symantec went from 0% market share to 38% in the Integrated PBBA segment.  The graph of this growth also suggests that Symantec could be the market share leader for integrated backup appliances in the next 2-3 years. 

Integrated PBBA 3yr_0.png

The other surprise in the graph above is why other major backup providers such as CommVault or IBM TSM are not offering their own purpose-built, integrated appliances. Our decision to introduce integrated backup appliances three years ago reflects our continuous focus on reducing complexity, driving down costs, and enabling greater IT agility.  

What about all of those other backup appliances?

There are 2 primary flavors of backup appliances – target-based which provide deduplication storage for backups and integrated which include the backup software, server, and storage.  Symantec is focused on integrated appliances.

According to IDC estimates, in calendar year 2013, across the total Purpose Built Backup Appliance Market (PBBA):

  • Symantec showed year-over-year (y/y) revenue growth of 50% (see graph below)
  • Other major hardware vendors showed anywhere from -21% to 9% revenue growth
  • Symantec has been the fastest growing backup appliance vendor for the last 3 years

All PBBA 2013 YoY Rev Growth_0.png

Symantec has been able to sustain high growth by offering an integrated backup appliance rather than a deduplication storage appliance. We offer a fully integrated backup appliances (server, storage, and software) powered by our market leading software.  The picture below illustrates the difference.

Target vs. Integrated appliance.png

The reliability, scalability, and flexibility of our backup software has made us the market share leader for over 10 years.  While we continue to build new, innovative capabilities into NetBackup like our Accelerator and Instant Restore capabilities for VMware, the appliance form factor lets us address broader operational challenges customers face.

Integrated backup appliances can reduce friction across the infrastructure lifecycle and accelerate time to value (as illustrated below).

End-to-End backup.png

Of course, collapsing the footprint of infrastructure is only a small part of our value proposition. Our appliances offer scale, performance, and flexibility.  Flexible capabilities like support for basic disk, Symantec deduplication, or Symantec OpenStorage (OST) allows customers to adapt the storage on the appliance to their needs. For example, a customer can carve up standard disk on the appliance if they want to send data directly to disk and tape (for faster recovery).  Similarly, support for Symantec OpenStorage allows customers to use our appliances in conjunction with their target deduplication system which allows them to extend the value of their investments even as they move towards a new infrastructure model (integrated appliances vs. build-your-own systems).

Some readers out there may still be in dis-belief about integrated appliances.  As I stated earlier, there are two segments of the backup appliance market – target and integrated (as measured by IDC).  And yes, target backup appliances still represent a bigger part of that market (1,790M vs. 950M).  But the integrated backup appliance market grew at 3x the rate of target PBBA in 2013 which once again suggests a change in the future.

integrated vs target YoY_0.png

Symantec wasn’t the first company to introduce integrated PBBAs, but we’ve made strong progress over the last 3 years. We’re committed to investing further in our appliance delivery model and plan to deliver more innovations over the next 12-24 months. In short, stand-by for more great things from Symantec.


Related Blogs:

In Love With Integrated Appliances (A brief history of backup appliances) 

Integrated PBBAs The Times Are A Changing (looks at 2013-Q1)

Frequently Asked Questions About NetBackup Accelerator Part 2