Sramana: What did you do when you left Quest?
Ratmir Timashev: We left in 2005 and for the next year, we took our time to look around and find the next big idea. We saw that virtualization was the new big trend. I have some good friends in the venture capital community who told me that virtualization was the big new thing.
We decided to do something similar to what we had done for Windows NT but for the VM world. We wanted to create different tools that VM administrators would need to do their day-to-day jobs. In mid-2006, we started creating different tools that involved things like monitoring, administration management, and finally a backup tool that we released in 2008.
The backup tool has been the most successful tool that we built. We ended up getting rid of most of our other products and keeping only our backup tool product. We still have a couple of management products, but the backup product creates 95% of our revenue. Our primary focus is backup data protection and a new product category that we call availability.
Sramana: There are all kinds of cloud backup products out there. Can you do an ecosystem map for me?
Ratmir Timashev: There is a traditional market for backup. Gartner estimates that market to be $5 billion globally. Symantec owns 32% of that market. The other major players are IBM, HP, EMC, and CommVault. Recently, Veeam was named the sixth largest vendor in this backup space.
There are probably 60 other players in this market. Most are smaller. The traditional market comes from the physical server. That server needs to do a backup at least once a day. In the event the server crashes and the data is corrupted, then you have a capable backup. The traditional market started for Intel platforms in 1995. In the traditional market, you install an agent and once a night that agent will run a backup process.
However, in the last seven years, the data has grown very fast. It has been growing anywhere from 30% to 60% a year. Business requirements have changed dramatically. Several years ago, it was acceptable to not have access to a website or email for a day or two. Today, businesses need access to data and applications from any device at any time from any place. They do not tolerate any downtime. If email is down for more than 5 or 10 minutes, IT will get yelled at. Business requirements have changed dramatically when it comes to access to data.
Tolerance for data loss is also very different today. Ten years ago, people understood that they might lose a file every now and then. Today, that is not OK. You need to backup data at least once an hour, not once a day like it was 10 years ago. It would be preferable to backup data every 10 to 15 minutes. If a server crashes, then you only lose 15 minutes of data, not an entire day’s worth of data.