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Imation has acquired Nexsan, a move that will help significantly widen Imation's storage solutions to include disk-based and flash storage-based primary and secondary storage technology while giving Nexsan the size needed to scale its business.
The $120 million acquisition of Nexsan gives Oakdale, Minn.-based Imation, which is better known for its archiving and backup storage business, a huge 11,000-plus customer base and an active partner base as it looks to expand its storage footprint.
Under Imation, Nexsan will be run as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imation headed by current Nexsan CEO Philip Black. Operations will continue to be managed from Nexsan's existing Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based headquarters.
Nexsan provides the technology and partner base to continue Imation's transformation into a provider of data security and tiered storage solutions, said Ian Williams, president of tiered storage and solutions at Imation.
Imation in 2011 made a series of strategic acquisitions in the data security market, including USB flash storage security provider IronKey, data encryption developer ENCRYPTX, and authentication technology developer MXI.
With Nexsan, Imation gets tiered storage technology as well as a unified storage offering that combines file and block storage into a single system, Williams said. Nexsan's business model with its 100-percent channel focus is also a beneficial for Imation, which has the same focus, he said.
"We evaluated several storage companies, and were impressed by Nexsan's technology," he said. "And Nexsan has channel expertise second to none."
Black said that Nexsan has been religiously channel-oriented from its beginning 10 years ago, and that in Imation it has found a partner that is just as committed to working with the channel.
"Our channel partners are going to love this," he said. "There are no changes for them. But now they can say, Nexsan is a billion-dollar company, not a small company many customers may not have heard of."
The fact that Nexsan will continue to be operated independently is a big plus for solution providers, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime Nexsan partner.
Consiliant also partners with Hitachi Data Systems on enterprise and midrange primary storage, Kadlec said. "Nexsan has been very good for customers that don't need the Hitachis of the world," he said. "We have customers with a variety of storage vendors, and Nexsan fits well with their secondary or tertiary storage requirements with products that provide bulk storage at an attractive price."