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Veeam acquisition of Kasten boosts Kubernetes backup

Veeam makes another move in the emerging field of Kubernetes data protection with its acquisition of Kasten. Veeam and Kasten had a technology, sales and marketing partnership.

Veeam Software has acquired Kasten, less than five months after launching a partnership with the Kubernetes backup and disaster recovery provider.

The Veeam acquisition, for $150 million in cash and equity, closed on Sept. 25.

Veeam will integrate Kasten into its cloud data management platform. Kasten's K10 platform will also continue to be available independently.

Danny AllanDanny Allan

The acquisition strengthens Veeam's standing in the steadily growing market of container-based protection. Containerized workloads are on the rise, and Kubernetes has become a dominant platform in container management.

"We want to be ahead of that curve," said Veeam CTO Danny Allan.

The Veeam acquisition adds a "critical component" for the vendor's "Act 2," Allan said. Veeam executives have described that piece of the vendor's strategy as a focus on hybrid cloud protection; that is, a combination of virtual, physical and cloud workloads.

How Kasten went from partner to Veeam acquisition

Allan said the acquisition will speed up technical integration that the vendors began during their partnership.

"This propels Veeam to the forefront of the field," Allan said of Kubernetes backup and recovery.

The partnership included a sales element, in which Veeam would recommend Kasten to enterprise customers who sought Kubernetes protection. On the marketing side, Veeam and Kasten co-produced a white paper.

Sriram Subramanian, research director at IDC, said he expected the acquisition after the two companies launched their partnership. From a technology standpoint, Kasten fits nicely in the Veeam portfolio, he said. Veeam picks up technology and Kasten gains the reach of Veeam's brand and 375,000 customers.

"It sounds like a logical conclusion," Subramanian said.

Allan said that the market and customer interests have shown that Kubernetes is here to stay. Veeam customers were excited by the partnership with Kasten, Allan said, and the vendor wanted to take the next step.

Veeam will integrate the Kasten K10 platform into its Backup & Replication product. The vendor has not set a general availability date for the integration yet.

Niraj ToliaNiraj Tolia

The Veeam acquisition provides several new benefits for Kasten's customers, such as multi-tiering and tape support, said Niraj Tolia, co-founder and previously CEO of Kasten.

Over the course of the Veeam partnership, Tolia said he learned that the two companies were a good fit as far as leadership, culture and ecosystem.

"We can build a much larger business together," Tolia said.

Veeam had offered container protection through its Availability Suite, but not at the level of the comprehensive, native backup and recovery that Kasten provides. Allan said Veeam doesn't have to redesign its platform to handle the new form of data protection.

Kasten, founded in 2017 and based in Los Altos, Calif., is one of a few container protection specialists. The market for container protection and management has started to consolidate. For example, Pure Storage recently paid $370 million to acquire Portworx for its container management. 

"We see this kind of momentum continuing," Subramanian said.

Kasten stands out because it tackles Kubernetes from an application standpoint, Allan said. Other data protection vendors take it from a storage perspective, but containers can span different infrastructure and storage models, he said.

One of Kasten's competitors, Robin, also delivers protection at the application layer, Subramanian said. He cited Rubrik and Trilio as other top competitors.

'Kasten by Veeam' looks ahead

Kasten and Veeam shared a connection with Insight Partners. The private equity firm acquired Veeam early in 2020 and provided funding for Kasten.

Everyone believes what we have going is a very good thing. How do we continue on that path?
Niraj ToliaCo-founder, Kasten

Kasten will operate as a separate Kubernetes business unit within Veeam, led by its founders Tolia and Vaibhav Kamra. Tolia will serve as president and general manager and Kamra as chief technology officer of the unit.

All of Kasten's 21 employees will remain with the new business unit, now called Kasten by Veeam. Veeam will keep Kasten's offices in Utah and California. Veeam has about 4,400 employees.

Tolia said Kasten will expand, hiring across the board, from sales and marketing to engineering.

While there are other container platforms, the focus for Veeam's protection is on Kubernetes, which will continue to be the "dominant platform for containers," Allan said. The vendor could add other platform support over time.

Following the Veeam acquisition, Tolia said he will seek a balanced approach between go-to-market work and engineering.

"The goal is to make sure we don't get distracted," Tolia said. "Everyone believes what we have going is a very good thing. How do we continue on that path?"

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