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Veeam users, prospects unfazed by Symantec litigation

Symantec Corp. is locked in a court battle with virtual backup vendor Veeam Software over patent infringement, but Veeam customers don’t expect the suit to affect them. Some prospective users also say it won’t stop their evaluations of Veeam’s product.

Symantec accuses Veeam as well as another competitor, Acronis, Inc. of doing “irreparable harm” in its lawsuits, and the security and storage software company seeks monetary damages. It is also attempting to stop Veeam and Acronis from using certain technology in their products.

Symantec claims that Veeam infringed on patents for “Disaster Recovery and Backup Using Virtual Machines,” “Computer Restoration Systems and Methods,” “Method and System of Providing Replication,” and “Selective File and Folder Snapshot Creation.”

Users considering a move to Veeam are undeterred. “Isn’t that what every backup vendor does?” said Femi Adegoke, IT Director at the West Gastroenterology Medical Group in Los Angeles, Calif., of the alleged areas of infringement. “[The lawsuit] doesn’t bother me — Symantec’s product has a lot of moving parts and legacy stuff involved. I prefer to go with some of the newer guard [in Veeam].”

Current Veeam shops were blase about the news. “It doesn’t concern us — we don’t work for them,” said Kevin Stephens, infrastructure specialist for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DoDD), which uses Veeam’s Backup and Replication software. “We use both Symantec and Veeam products.”

One Veeam customer that uses Veeam’s full suite of software, including Backup and Replication and Reporter said he’s not concerned, either – “at least, not yet.” “We live in a litigious society, so you never know how it will work out,” said Barry Blakely, infrastructure architect for Mazda N.A.

Some in the market see the suit as ‘patent trolling’ on Symantec’s part, brought on by competitive products’ popularity, but it’s more likely a prelude to some form of partnership or even acquisition, said Greg Schulz, founder and analyst with the StorageIO Group.

“Maybe the outcome down the road is some cross-licensing or a partnership between Veeam and Symantec,” he said. “We’ve seen a long list of things like this eventually get settled out of court.”

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