Veeam, Cisco expand relationship around Cisco HyperFlex to secondary side

Cisco and Veeam partnered around HyperFlex over a year ago around a direct snapshot integration for HyperFlex primary storage. Now they are extending that partnership with a new integration on the secondary side that leverages enhancements made in HyperFlex 3.0.

Ken Ringdahl, Veeam’s VP Global Alliance Architecture

Veeam has announced a significant expansion of its relationship with Cisco around the Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged [HCI] data management platform. While the companies had previously been collaborating on HyperFlex since last year, the news here is that they are now working together for the first time around HyperFlex’s secondary storage capabilities. They are also extending the Go-to-Market motion with Cisco to accommodate the new functionality, in a major joint effort between the two companies. Out of the gate, it will be available to a select number of joint Cisco and Veeam partners.

“In March 2017, we announced our initial integration with Cisco around HyperFlex, specifically around primary snapshot integration,” said Ken Ringdahl, Veeam’s VP Global Alliance Architecture. The idea with this was to make recovery time objectives as low as possible in order to eliminate reliance on the VMware snapshot and the disruption it can cause to production workloads. Veeam originally designed these integrations for the main primary storage vendors, using their storage systems’ snapshotting capability, and last year’s HyperFlex announcement was about its primary storage capabilities as well.

“This new announcement is on the secondary storage side around HyperFlex,” Ringdahl indicated. “Cisco’s HyperFlex 3.0 introduced large form factor drive features. By integrating with these elements of the solution, we can turn the HyperFlex cluster into a backup repository.”

Ringdahl emphasized as well that Veeam is unique among the backup and recovery vendors in this capability with Cisco.

“Cisco is investing heavily in their HyperFlex product portfolio, and this expands their capabilities,” he said. “We are also the sole source for this capability. They aren’t doing this with anyone else but Veeam. It’s not just having a separate SKU with them. It’s all about Cisco specifically enabling their channel around this data management solution with Veeam.”

The success of the initial HyperFlex integration with Veeam Availability last year led to this new extension

Carey Stanton, Veeam’s VP of Global Business and Corporate Development

“The success of our initiative with Cisco around HCI led to channel partners wanting to work with us closer and expand the way that we are used in HyperFlex,” said Carey Stanton, Veeam’s VP of Global Business and Corporate Development. “This led to us working on this new element of the integration over the last four to five months. It came from the channel.

“After we went live on Cisco’s price list with this in November, we appeared on nine out of every ten Cisco price lists around HyperFlex,” Stanton continued. “That success led to the extension of the Go-to-Market component within this announcement. They saw how successful we were in going to market together. This new capability will be sold by Cisco as a completely separate SKU with a different Go-to-Market motion.”

Stanton explained how this will roll out through the channel, being sold by Cisco, through mutual Cisco and Veeam partners, and with both vendors participating extensively in promoting and co-selling it, and enabling partners.

“Cisco has quoted us in over 800 transactions in the last nine months, so we have seen who has been successful at selling HyperFlex,” he said.  “We have targeted 20 channel partners globally that we are working with in the first wave of partner enablement. They will be working with Cynthia Johnson [Cisco’s Global Vice President of Server Sales and Data Center Solutions] and her team. They are doing a 25-city road show to do fast enablement of the team, which will have the full support across both companies’ sales and product marketing organizations. This isn’t us going by ourselves to New York to do a lunch and learn. It’s a major global initiative from both companies.”

While Veeam has a strong relationship with Cisco, they have deep partnerships with the other big HCI vendors like Dell Technologies/VMware, Nutanix and HPE as well.

“We are also partnered with many of the smaller ones like Pivot3, but don’t have the same deep go-to-market relationships there,” Ringdahl said.

The new Veeam Availability on Cisco HyperFlex is expected to be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2018.