CA Buys Storage Software Startup

CA is bulking up its storage management strength with the acquisition of a Waltham, Mass., software startup.

CA will use the failover and data replication tools from XOsoft to flesh out its BrightStor ARCserve Backup product line, the Islandia, N.Y., vendor said Tuesday. CA did not disclose what it paid for the privately held company.

Posted on XOsoft's Web site is a letter to the vendor's reseller partners from Gary Quinn, CA's executive vice president in charge of channels. The one page letter praised the deal and ensured that XOsoft's products will continue to be supported and developed.

"At CA, your partnership matters to us," Quinn said in the letter.

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Ken Nelson, CEO of Rentech, a Nashville-based XOsoft partner that provides managed services such as hosting, said he hopes CA will be as good of a partner as XOsoft has been.

"We've enjoyed working with XOsoft," said Nelson. "Their products do what they say they will do. We expect the same with CA," he said.

XOsoft has about 150 VARs, two thirds of which are in North America, said XOSoft CEO Leonid Shtilman. The vendor's data protection software, which can replicate file servers and databases for backup to Windows servers, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft IIS and Oracle, is also resold by BMC Software, Houston, as part of BMC's SQL-BackTrack product, said Shtilman.

CA will leave things pretty much how they are with XOsoft, with XOsoft resellers becoming CA resellers of the rebranded product, and the BMC deal intact, said Bob Davis, senior vice president and general manager of CA's storage business. "We are not going to break anything that is working today," he said.

XOsoft brings four main products to CA. WANSyncHA provides high availability failover and disaster recovery solutions to Exchange, SQL, Oracle, and file servers. Enterprise Rewinder is a continuous data protection (CDP) software that backs up changes to data as they happen to allow users to go back to previous versions of their data at any point in time in case that data is lost or corrupted. WANSyncCD is an application that distributes a company's content to branch offices. And InMotion automates the migration and maintenance of Exchange.

CDP has become an important part of the storage market, with several startups offering CDP solutions or being acquired. For instance, EMC in May purchased data replication and CDP developer Kashya for $153 million. And Herzliya, Israel-based Exanet said on Monday it is adding CDP to its clustered NAS software.

NEXT: How XOsoft Products Fit CA

Shtilman said that the four products have a good fit in the CA product line. For instance, Shtilman said, XOsoft's WANSyncCD helps customers consolidate data into a central location, and is closely related to the backup software that CA provides. The Enterprise Rewinder CDP application also compliments CA's backup software. "It works with different backup software, not instead," he said.

XOsoft's Enterprise Rewinder was one of the industry's first CDP applications, and currently is in use by hundreds of customers, Shtilman said. He also said that XOsoft and CA had already started field testing XOsoft's WANSyncHA application with CA at customer sites.

Davis said that CA currently does not offer any of these technologies to its customers.

However, he said that could change. CA plans to start by offering the XOsoft applications as stand-alone applications to its channel, and move toward integrating applications. For instance, one early move would be to automatically start a backup if a high availability event occurred.

Eventually, over the next two years, CA will merge the technologies into a next-generation recovery management platform, Davis said. "We will be driving a policy-based recovery management strategy," he said.

XOsoft's distribution channels will be integrated into CA's, but XOsoft will not lose a distributor as a result, said Davis.

Storage products represent a higher percentage of indirect sales for CA - 40 percent - than the percentage of overall indirect sales from all product lines, which stands at 10 percent, said Davis, who added he saw no reason for legacy XOsoft partners to be concerned about competition from legacy CA partners peddling the more comprehensive BrightStor ARCserve Backup product line. XOsoft partners will be encouraged to expand their partnerships with CA into the product line, he said.

"XOsoft has great technology for business continuity, and will add depth to the CA product set," Rentech's Nelson said. "And it's good for us in the data center. CA has a suite of products for backup and monitoring. The acquisition gives us access to a more complete set of products and solutions."

Rentech provides XOsoft's WANSyncHA application as a service to midrange and enterprise clients on a licensing basis with XOsoft as part of a full line of services including co-location, dedicated servers, firewalls, storage, backup, and operating system and hardware support, Nelson said.

XOsoft is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., with offices in New York, California and Israel.