Unitrends and Veeam: Legacy Silliness

In this post I’m going to discuss some of the sillier aspects of Veeam’s “advertising” of Unitrends on their web site.  I use the term “silly” because Veeam is engaged in name-calling on their web pages devoted to Unitrends.  My first reaction in reading some of this was “sticks and stones” – as in children’s taunt “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  But there’s something a bit more clever going on here – the use of debating tactics that rely on some fallacious assumptions.  What Veeam is doing here is employing the ad hominem logical fallacy – in which you question the attributes of the person (or in this case company) with whom you’re debating, rather than addressing the argument directly.  This technique, coupled with stereotyping, can be effective.  The problem is when you are trying to persuade a rational audience – at that point the fallacies can work against your intent.

The best example is Veeam’s use of the term “legacy.”  I’ve always thought it was interesting that Veeam used the “legacy backup” meme to attempt to tarnish all of its major competitors with a single broad brush.  This is the technique that they are using with Unitrends.  An example of this in the first paragraph states “…the legacy Unitrends alternative…” – and later you read “Legacy solutions like the products offered by Unitrends…”  So what does Veeam mean here by “legacy?”  From what I can tell, legacy when used by Veeam means one or more of the following:

  • Any company founded prior to Veeam.
  • Any company that protects more than VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V – or even those that can protect applications natively.
  • Any company that doesn’t require third-party deduplication devices to achieve meaningful deduplication.
  • Any company that supports both its own clouds, MSPs and CSPs, and AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and other hyperscale clouds.
  • Any company that isn’t Veeam.

We’re guilty of all of these.  Does that mean Unitrends is a much-maligned “legacy” company?  In search for further clues, I read on.  Suddenly I came across statements such as  “Another member of the 1980’s club…” and “Unitrends has attempted to buy their way into a modern backup solution with its acquisition of PHD Virtual.”  Reading this, everything fell into place.  The phrase “grasping at straws” came to mind.

Unitrends was founded in Myrtle Beach South Carolina – that home of high-technology startups 🙂 – in the 1980s as a lifestyle company.  It was in 2009 that we rebooted the company and re-architected the product.  Since our architecture occurred after Veeam’s founding, are we still legacy?  We have a micro-service architecture that enables us to continually offer more and better functionality for our customers – with backup software release 9.0 and our radically simple yet sophisticated “Satori” interface being the latest example.

Unitrends moved from a startup to a private equity based company in 2013 to raise funding to invest more in our products and our infrastructure.  Does spending more on our customers and offering more features make us legacy?  I doubt it.  After a lot of thought, I think that Veeam’s theory on “legacy” is pretty simple – any company that isn’t Veeam is legacy.  I get that marketing tactic in terms of trying to brand yourself as “new” and “modern” while branding others as “old” – but as a rational argument, it leaves a bit to be desired.

In the remainder of this series I’m going to leave all of this silliness behind.  A more serious way to think about “old” versus “new”, “legacy” versus “modern”, is as a constant pursuit of excellence and value delivered  Unfortunately, most companies who once proudly wore the mantle of “new” find themselves swept away as more adaptable and innovative companies surge forward – those are the companies that win the future.  It’s one thing to brand yourself as VMware backup – as Veeam has effectively done.  It’s another to offer cloud continuity and recovery assurance as well as protecting over 200 versions of hypervisors, servers operating systems, and applications – and do so with a user experience simpler and more intuitive than a vendor only offering protection for two hypervisors.  That’s Unitrends – that’s release 9.0 – and that’s our bid on moving the ball forward to the next generation of continuity and backup.




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