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Kasten’s Next Chapter: Joining Forces with Veeam

 

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I am very excited to announce the acquisition of Kasten by Veeam! As we begin the next chapter of our journey as an independent business unit within Veeam, we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with a company that we not only share philosophical alignment with, but an organization that has inspired us in many ways. Together, we will continue to advance the state of the art in modern data management and cement our lead in the space.

History Repeats Itself

To see how we got here, we need to rewind the clock to Kasten’s incorporation in January of 2017. Two things were clear to Vaibhav Kamra, my co-founder, and me from the very beginning. First, our previous experience had shown us that Kubernetes, while facing competition from more seemingly mature systems, would be the next wave of infrastructure that all new applications would be built on. Second, as more organizations adopted this then-fledgling platform, stateful workloads such as NoSQL and relational databases would increasingly migrate over to this containerized system. We bet the company on Kubernetes and on addressing the need for backup, disaster recovery, and application mobility of containerized applications and never looked back!

When one looks back even further, through tech history, every infrastructure shift (client-server, virtualization, etc.) created a new ecosystem leader for data protection. When we dug into the details, we discovered that emerging platforms were extremely different than everything else that preceded it. A well-designed and purpose-built system that was deeply integrated into the new platform would always win over any legacy system that tried to bolt-on support. As a concrete example, even with multiple entrenched competitors, Veeam grew to dominate the data protection market with the shift to virtualization. As we were taking pages out of Veeam’s playbook, little did we know that we would not only effectively partner with them, the shared focus on simplicity, reliability, flexibility, and customer-driven development would lead us to combine forces today.

What’s Different About Cloud-Native

When the team at Kasten started exploring Kubernetes-native data protection, we already had many years of storage and data management experience under our belts. However, as our previous experience running customer-facing applications on Kubernetes showed, the traditional infrastructure-centric approach to protecting data simply wouldn’t have worked in a cloud-native environment. Kubernetes, the de facto standard for orchestrating containers, has succeeded because it (rightly) focuses on the application and developers and not infrastructure nor vendors. This seemingly subtle requirement to be application-centric fundamentally impacted everything we built at Kasten including our architecture, UI, API, and workflows. Today, we are proud to have convinced the industry that the concept of application-centric data management is the only reasonable way for Kubernetes users to approach cloud-native backup and recovery.

Of course, solving cloud-native data management challenges is not just about technology. The accelerating digital transformation we see all around us is driven by people. Silos have broken down and new DevOps teams are driving application development and management. Roles and requirements have changed, and it is all about fine-grained multi-tenancy and self-service without sacrificing security. Being purpose-built for Kubernetes involves deep integrations into the cloud-native tools that DevOps teams are embracing for monitoring, logging, and observability and support for the new workflows (e.g., multi-cluster and policy-based automation) that operators are rapidly adopting. The talent gap and underlying complexity of Kubernetes is driving an increased need for tools that are simple to use, reliable, and, most importantly, to provide a bridge to the existing workforce into this new cloud-native world.

Tackling these challenges required a clean slate design and led to the creation of Kasten’s K10 data management platform. With an ops-focused but developer-friendly approach, K10 today can meet the requirements of a sophisticated enterprise across multiple clouds, Kubernetes distributions, storage systems, and data services. With Veeam’s experience and resources supporting us, we are doubling down on this charge, to provide Kubernetes-native backup that is second to none.

Boatload of Thanks

The list of folks we have to thank for our success is extremely long and it should suffice to say that we will be making many calls over the next few days. However, there are certain people that I must acknowledge here.

Our Customers: I would like to thank all our customers from the bottom of our hearts. They took the risk with a startup and I dare say that we have not let them down. For them, nothing is going to change. We will continue to support all their environments and our customer-obsession around support and rapid development will remain our top priority.

The Kasten Team: None of this would be possible without the amazing Kasten team. Right from our amazing founding team who Vaibhav and I have been working with across multiple companies now to folks we joined forces with for the first time, the entire team’s customer focus, hard work, and determination were critical to our success. We owe a great debt to them, and their families, for the deep trust that they placed in us. I can’t thank them all enough!

The Community: Just as no one can survive in a vacuum, Kasten has benefited a lot from the cloud-native community. This ranges from the openness of the Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) communities, the partners in the ecosystem that went out of their way to support us, the open-source ecosystem that we leverage and contribute to, and the media and analysts that were always fair, kind, and encouraging.

Our Investors: Kasten has been extremely fortunate to have the backing of a number of amazing investors. Our angel investors always provided unqualified support and valuable guidance whenever we needed it. In particular, we owe a big debt of gratitude to Amarjit Gill, our Seed lead and investor extraordinaire. I cannot think of a better group of people I would have wanted in our corner as we got Kasten off the ground. Mike Triplett from Insight Partners, joined the team when he led our Series A and has used his deep domain expertise to not just guide and encourage us, but also to figure out how to get ahead of challenges we were going to run into as we grew. We have truly stood on the shoulders of giants to get Kasten to where it is today.

Next Steps

I speak for the entire Kasten team when I say that we are truly excited about the new voyage ahead of us as a part of Veeam. Our charter is to continue to invest in and build out the Kasten K10 platform. For our joint customers, we will deliver a single modern data management platform that will protect data across virtual machines, physical servers, SaaS applications, and now, containers. For our Kubernetes-only customers, we will continue to provide the freedom of choice to run K10 wherever they are today and will be tomorrow.

If you are new to Kasten or cloud-native data protection, you can find a lot more on our product or resources pages (including an illustrated guide!). Even better, just give K10, the leading Kubernetes-native data protection solution a try right now. Given that our Starter Edition is forever free up to 10 worker nodes, why wait?

Finally, I would also encourage you to read more about what others have to say about Kasten and Veeam combining forces:

Niraj Tolia

Niraj Tolia is the General Manager and President of Kasten (acquired by Veeam), that he founded in order to solve the problem of Kubernetes backup and disaster recovery. With a strong technical background in distributed systems, storage, and data management, he has held multiple leadership roles in the past, including Senior Director of Engineering for Dell EMC's CloudBoost group and VP of Engineering and Chief Architect at Maginatics (acquired by EMC). Dr. Tolia received his PhD, MS, and BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


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