Online Tech Buys Cloud Infrastructure From Neverfail, Signs Software Partnership


Cloud and data center services provider Online Tech Tuesday made a play for an expanded geographical reach and new customer base with its acquisition of the cloud infrastructure business and assets of Neverfail.

In return, Neverfail, a provider of security and data protection offerings for building resilient cloud infrastructures, gets a chance to focus on building its software business without the need to also invest in the infrastructure on which it runs.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the deal, Online Tech has acquired the Infrastructure-as-a-Service and data protection assets and products from Neverfail, including Neverfail's five cloud nodes and assets worldwide, said Brad Cheedle, CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Online Tech.

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That gives Online Tech a wider geographic presence along with tens of thousands of new end users, as well as a huge expansion in its channel-focused business, Cheedle told CRN.

Prior to the acquisition, Online Tech was a regional cloud and data center services provider, with operations in Michigan, Indiana and Missouri, Cheedle said. Now it has new U.S. points of presence in the West, South and East, in the U.K. and Australia, as well as a group of operations people in Romania, he said.

"This gives us immediate scale, and advances our business globally," he said. "Prior to this, about 30 percent of our business was via partners. Now it’s about 75 percent. And now 75 percent of our business comes from cloud customers."

With the Neverfail infrastructure comes a wide range of new customers ranging from large carrier and similar customers who worked with Neverfail on a white-label basis to smaller customers who purchased the software and used the Neverfail infrastructure, Cheedle said. Online Tech will provide support at all the various levels to those customers going forward, he said.

Online Tech and Austin, Texas-based Neverfail have also signed a new strategic partnership under which Online Tech will become the preferred cloud provider for Neverfail's software solutions, particularly its virtual desktop infrastructure and data protection application, Cheedle said.

"We like Neverfail's software," he said. "It works very well. And they had some large customers serving tens of thousands of end users who like the software."

Looking ahead, Cheedle said Online Tech early next year will add managed Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud offerings for its co-location cloud capabilities, which currently are focused on Microsoft Azure.

The company also plans to introduce a new customer portal that will help with cost containment and performance management across public and private clouds as well as provide tools aimed at business modernization, he said.

Brian Hierholzer, CEO of Neverfail, told CRN that his company explored the sale of its cloud infrastructure business because it felt it needed to decide whether it was a cloud business or a software business.

"Our solutions work for hosted and other cloud providers, not just for our own cloud," Hierholzer said. "After exploring the options, we found a great partner in Online Tech. So we did this transaction to further our investment in our software portfolio."

The Neverfail software portfolio includes three primary lines, Hierholzer said.

The first, Neverfail Engine, protects mission-critical Windows applications, and is available to customers and partners either with the Neverfail name or on a white-label basis.

The second, Neverfail HybriStor, is a software-defined secondary storage offering with an object storage gateway for Amazon Web Services or any AWS S3-compatible cloud storage system. HybriStor is certified with data protection software from Barr, Switzerland-based Veeam.

The third, Neverfail Workspaces, provides hosted virtual desktop infrastructure and application delivery with a single pane of glass in multitenant environments across any cloud.

After the transaction, Online Tech will be Neverfail's preferred cloud partner, Hierholzer said.

"We have a significant investment to make sure that partnership is a success," he said. "When customers look for infrastructure that is appropriate to the Online Tech cloud, they will be our preferred partner. But to be clear, our software is appropriate for any cloud."