Syncsort, a developer of big data and data protection software, has spun off its data protection side following the acquisition of that part of its business by management and outside investment companies.
The newly separated data protection part of the company, for now simply called the Data Protection company, is a fast-growing developer of backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and bare metal restore software with a particular focus on storage customers of NetApp, said Flavio Santoni, CEO of the new company.
The now-smaller Syncsort will continue to develop technology aimed at managing big data, company executives said.
The launch of the new company, which was completed on Oct. 1 but officially unveiled this week, comes days after Syncsort launched ECX Enterprise Catalog, a centralized and scalable way to catalog and search data snapshots in NetApp Ontap and VMware environments, Santoni said.
"It has been a busy time for us," he said.
Santoni declined to discuss terms of the spinoff or whether the new data protection business is profitable.
Syncsort started 45 years ago as a developer of sorting technology for mainframes, and eventually it moved into distributed computing while adding extract, transform and load (ETL) technology, Santoni said.
In the mid 1990s, the company developed data protection technology for Novell but overtime moved its data protection focus to NetApp environments, he said.
"I joined Syncsort in 2009, and it was clear the company had two separate businesses: ETL and data protection," he said. "Both had different customers and dealt with different purchasing people. They were really two stand-alone businesses. Only myself and the chief marketing officer were shared resources."
That led to talks in January about separating the two, a move that was finalized with this month's sales of the data protection business to investors for an undisclosed sum, Santoni said.
The move to make the data protection business a stand-alone business is a good one for the channel, said Bob Kerr, vice president of SwishData, a Warwick, N.Y.-based solution provider formed in 2006 and one of Syncsort's first channel partners.
"I'm excited about the focusing of new resources on the new data protection company," Kerr said. "They'll have resources to really help them grow that business."
NEXT: Understanding The New As-Yet-Unnamed Data Protection BusinessSwishData has only just started looking at the big data market and how it ties into storage, so going forward, it will continue to be a strong part of the new data protection business, SwishData's Kerr said.
"We've done very well with Syncsort over the years," he said. "There's been a number of times we competed head-to-head with Symantec and CommVault and won."
Syncsort has a number of competitive advantages, including its technology for recovering data from physical to virtual environments and handling disaster recovery between physical and virtual machines, Kerr said.
He said he especially likes the new ECX Enterprise Catalog and its ability to track different snapshots from different backup technologies.
"It provides a good way to do recovery and management of applications," he said. "A lot of applications provide snapshots but don't offer a way to catalog them. ECX Enterprise Catalog can go into a NetApp device, look at all the snaps and find them."
Despite the close ties between the new data protection spinoff from Syncsort and the storage technology of NetApp, the new company is not likely to be an acquisition target of NetApp for now, Syncsort's Santoni said.
"NetApp will tell you that partnering is core to their strategy," he said. "Also, NetApp is now undergoing their largest transformation as it moves to focus on its Clustered Ontap technology. It's a single-minded focus. If NetApp one day wants to buy a backup company, we could be a target. But, they're now focused on delivering the best storage systems."
Santoni said the name "the Data Protection business" is only temporary while it looks for a more permanent name. "I'm open to suggestions," he said.
PUBLISHED OCT. 18, 2013