Overland Buys Primary Storage Software Maker

Overland will pay $9 million in cash for the 11-person startup, based in Woodinville, Wash. Zetta's software immediately backs up changes as they're made, enabling file or a file system recovery at any time.

San Diego-based Overland is only the most recent vendor to move into the continuous data protection, or CDP, space. Earlier this month Network Appliance acquired Alacritus. And Microsoft's new Data Protection Manager offers near-continuous data protection, backing up data changes on a timed basis rather than when it detects changes.

Zetta's software incorporates so-called "thin provisioning," technology that lets customers allocate more capacity to an application than is physically available. If the application needs that extra storage, Zetta's server software grabs it from the storage network, without user intervention.

Zetta specifically targets the backing up and instant recovery of Microsoft Exchange and SQL file servers. The company works with both solution providers and OEMs.

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Don McNaughton, sales manager at HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y., solution provider and Overland partner, said he applauds Overland's adding primary storage to its line.

"We love Overland and how it's committed to partners," McNaughton said. "If they can expand their product line beyond backup, it will make it a more flexible product line."

That's the goal, said Christopher Calisi, president and CEO of Overland. Calisi said the company will be among the few vendors offering the channel an integrated product line, with primary storage from Zetta Systems, secondary disk-based backup storage with Overland's Reo product line, and tape archiving via Overland's Neo library line.

A primary storage array based on the Zetta software will be built by a contract manufacturer and released within 90 days, said Calisi. The product name and pricing will be unveiled at that time, he said. Calisi said he expects capacity to start at about 6 Tbytes and scale to 50 Tbytes.

Eventually, Overland's three product lines will be integrated into a single architecture with a unified user interface, Calisi said.

Rumors that Overland would acquire a primary storage hardware line have been flying since the beginning of the year. The company had shown a number of primary storage arrays to its channel partners in order to get their feedback on what the channel needs, said Calisi.

Overland eventually decided to focus on primary storage software. "We kept coming back to the fact that the RAID market is as ugly or uglier than the backup market," he said. "We felt customers will get more benefits if they can get a complete primary, secondary and tertiary solution."