Colourful ExaGrid spills the competitive beans

We had a briefing from ExaGrid President and CEO Bill Andrews after hearing about its final 2021 quarter results. He provided us with a little more colour, as he put it.

Blocks & Files: Who else is primarily focussed on making backup appliances?

Bill Andrews.

Bill Andrews: No vendor is focused right now on building or advancing a dedicated appliance for backup. We appear to be the only ones constantly adding to the product feature set.

On what do you base your view of the data protection target market?

We have over 160 in our sales org and soon will have over 200. We truly do see the market for what it is, because we are talking to a wide range of customers. We get in through resellers bringing us in but we also have 36 inside sales reps that cold call into named accounts.

What competing suppliers and products do you encounter?

Since we are in the upper mid-market to the enterprise the backup applications we see in the market that we sit behind are Veritas NetBackup, Commvault, Oracle RMAN, IBM Spectrum Protect, Dell Networker, Dell Avamar.

Veeam continues to move upmarket and has a good base. We only see Rubrik and Cohesity if the customer is looking to switch one of the above and then ExaGrid teams up with either Veeam, Commvault or HYCU to compete.

You say you have a 75 per cent win rate and bid into customers with existing backup target systems. Who are you meeting and beating?

When we go into accounts we replace the following in the following order:

  1. Primary storage disk behind Veeam, Commvault and IBM Spectrum Protect;
  2. Dell Data Domain behind Veeam, Veritas NetBackup, Oracle RMAN;
  3. Veritas 5300/5400 appliances behind Veritas NetBackup;
  4. HPE StoreOnce behind Veeam;
  5. Dell Data Domain behind Commvault;
  6. Dell Data Domain behind IBM Spectrum Protect;
  7. We also replace the storage and deduplication appliances behind BackupExec, Acronis and many others. ExaGrid supports 25 backup applications and utilities.

Do you meet Cohesity or Rubrik in the deals ExaGrid bids for?

When the customer is looking to change both the backup storage and the backup application then we will see Rubrik and Cohesity as they can only sell if the customer is replacing both the backup application and the backup storage, at the same time. Most of the time it is Veeam to ExaGrid replacing Dell Networker to Dell Data Domain or Dell Avamar to Dell Data Domain that we replace. Most Networker and Avamar customers are leaving at high speed. We will see Rubrik or Cohesity in these deals. We don’t see many Commvault or NetBackup accounts turning over, mostly Dell Networker and Dell Avamar.

If in a Nutanix environment ExaGrid will go in with HYCU–ExaGrid versus Veeam–ExaGrid. In this case, HYCU–ExaGrid competes with Rubrik or Cohesity.

Sometimes, more on a per-case basis, we work with Commvault to ExaGrid in some deals.

The net is when a customer is changing their backup application then they will look at Veeam–-ExaGrid, HYCU–ExaGrid, Commvault to disk, Commvault–ExaGrid, Rubrik, Cohesity [in that order].


Andrews does not mention Quantum’s DXI systems at all, suggesting that they just do not appear — or appear rarely — in what Andrews refers to as upper-mid-market and enterprise markets. Quantum’s newest DXi V5000 offering is targeted at remote and branch offices.