Storage suppliers are beginning to pull out of Russia as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine gathers pace.
Update: Commvault and Pure Storage withdrawal from Russia added. 4pm GMT, 7 March 2002. HYCU added – 8 March 2022.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February and its forces, facing strong and aggressive resistance, have shelled a nuclear power station and even civilians as they struggle to subdue the country’s response. Data protector Veeam declared it would no longer do business in Russia on Friday and some other storage suppliers have adopted the same stance.
Liran Zvibel, founder and CEO of filesystem supplier Weka, tweeted before the weekend: “We at @WekaIO also suspended business and concrete deals with Russia and Russian owned companies. There are no specific legal restrictions that prompted us to do so, and there were easy ways of getting paid through their subsidiaries throughout Europe. 100 per cent ethical decision.”
An Acronis spokesperson said: “Acronis [hasn’t done] business in Russia since 2016. We had a small per cent of our staff located in the countries involved in the current conflict (mostly customer support function). In the past days, we successfully relocated all the employees and their families from these countries to our others offices in Europe and Central Asia – Armenia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Turkey.”
Veritas told us: “Veritas has acted to suspend all direct and channel sales and services activities in Russia, suspend the export of all products and technology into Russia and suspend the support of all products acquired by customers located in Russia.”
Commvault, NetApp and Pure Storage
We have asked Commvault about its intentions concerning operations in Russia and it sent us a statement: “Commvault stands in full solidarity with the Ukraine and wider international community, in condemnation of the unjustifiable attacks on Ukraine’s national sovereignty and population.
“As a matter of company policy and in full compliance with all international sanctions and guidelines Commvault has ceased all commercial operations in Russia.
The company stated: “Our priority is the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and partners in Ukraine. We are in constant communication with them to maximize the safety and security of team members and their families. As a global organisation, we are committed to actionable humanitarian support, and we are partnering with the International Rescue Committee – Rescue.org – to provide life-saving services and aid to refugees and asylum-seekers from Ukraine.
“Our hope is that peace prevails quickly. Until that time Commvault stands united with all those impacted by this attack on humanity, democracy and freedom.”
Pure Storage is also pulling out of Russia and sent us this statement made by CEO Charles Giancarlo during the earnings call on March 3: “We are carefully monitoring the situation in Ukraine – and we’re dismayed by the wanton disregard for both national sovereignty and human life currently on display. Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and all those affected by the conflict.
“We have ceased all shipments and support services in Russia and Belarus, which represents a small amount of business, for the foreseeable future. Our priority has been to ensure employee safety and we are doing everything we can to support our team members and their families affected by the conflict.”
NetApp sells systems into Russia through its OEM deal with Fujitsu and we’ve asked the companies about their intentions concerning operations in Russia.
HPE, VMware and others
HPE CEO Antonio Neri told a Yahoo! Finance interviewer on 3 March that the invasion was “unprovoked and completely unacceptable.”
He said: “We stopped shipping more than 72 hours ago when the events started unfolding and accelerating… We obviously are complete adherents to the global trade. But despite that, we immediately [made] that decision. And we stopped shipping anything into Russia. Now, that’s from the business perspective.
“Now, from the humanitarian standpoint, obviously we are incredibly concerned. And we as a company are stepping up to help employees in the region. We, in Ukraine, don’t have full-time employees. We cover that country through our vast discriminator network and via other resellers. But we have some contractors that we acquired through the several acquisitions over the last few years. And we are treating them not different than they were full-time employees. So we have a crisis management team on the ground working 24/7 to make sure those contractors and their immediate families are safe and they’re taking care. So that’s what we’re doing.”
VMware issued a statement on 2 March which said: “VMware is suspending all business operations in Russia and Belarus. We stand with Ukraine, and we commend the bravery of the Ukrainian people… The suspension of operations includes suspension of all sales, support, and professional services in both countries in line with VMware’s commitment to comply with sanctions and restrictions.”
Elsewhere in the tech industry, Oracle and SAP withdrew from Russia, while others such as Amazon, AMD, Apple Dell, HP, Global Foundries, and Lenovo have withdrawn from or limited their businesses in Russia. Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is exiting Russia as is KPMG. Both are separating themselves from their Russia-based subsidiaries. Consultancy firms Accenture, McKinsey, and Boston Consulting Group are stopping work in Russia.
IBM has said it’s leaving the Russian market, claimed deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov at the weekend.
Simon Taylor, the CEO of SaaS data protector HYCU, told us: “We are appalled by the actions of the Russian State in its invasion of Ukraine. We condemn the actions of the Russian Government, and we stand with Ukraine and its people in their fight to maintain their freedom and sovereignty. … Although we don’t have any operations in Russia, we want to take a firm stand. Therefore, we are providing our services free of charge to those disadvantaged by the conflict in Ukraine.”
He added: “Our efforts moving forward will be focused on supporting humans in crisis and helping to eliminate their suffering. Nothing we do as a company will be driven by politics or hidden agendas. All of us at HYCU are horrified to see the world stage dominated by pictures of war, and even more so by actions that hurt innocent civilians, women and children.”
HYCU has, a company spokesperson said, “more than 40 customers, partners and active prospects in Ukraine that we’re actively working with to do what we can under the circumstances.”
It seems that an IT noose could be tightening around Russia, closing it off from Western information processing technology and services. Possibly there will be many more storage and other IT suppliers lending their weight to this effort by the end of the week.