IBM To Acquire Continuous Data Protection Developer

storage software

IBM is growing its data backup and recovery storage business at twice the 10-percent overall industry growth as determined by analyst firm IDC, said Ron Riffe, product line manager for the Armonk, NY-based vendor.

"We're doing well," Riffe said. "But we want to get into a faster-growing market segment, and IDC says CDP is expected to grow 21 percent annually through 2010."

With continuous data protection, or CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain pre-defined intervals to allow users to be able to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted, or modified file. While many applications allow data changes to be captured on-the-fly, others back up the changes at set intervals.

IBM got interested in FilesX, with headquarters in Newton, Mass. and development in Haifa, Israel, because that company has patented technologies in CDP and disk-to-disk backup, Riffe said.

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Also, Riffe said, FilesX was already a development partner of IBM under IBM's Ready for Tivoli Integration program. FilesX had integrated its CDP and disk-to-disk backup technology in IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager software for remote office and branch office data protection.

FilesX will be a good fit for IBM's solution providers because its technology fills a gaping hole in IBM's storage offerings, Riffe said.

"IBM has one of the best backup and recovery offerings in Tivoli Storage Manager," he said. "And IBM has CDP for protecting customers' desktop and laptop PCs. FilesX is in between. It has CDP for remote and branch office and for the midrange business. Those are sweet spots for our business partners. FilesX takes us from a relatively weak position to a strong position in the midmarket storage space."

FilesX is only the latest in a number of CDP developers acquired in the recent past as customers push their vendors to offer more solutions and fewer point products.

Data protection software maker Yosemite Technologies, San Jose, Calif., added CDP by acquiring FileKeeper in February of 2007.

CA, Islandia, NY, in July of 2006 acquired XOsoft which, among other things, developed CDP technology.

SonicWall, of Sunnyvale, Calif., in November of 2005 acquired Lasso Logic, a developer of CDP appliances.

Riffe said there is no big secret why CDP -- and CDP developers -- are in such great demand.

"Data is just exploding," he said. "The amount of data being created is off the charts. Fifty-percent growth rates is typical. So backups are becoming increasingly difficult. With CDP, customers get a stream of real-time changes to be backed up. And they can get access to their replicated data almost as quickly as it is being created."

Financial details related to the acquisition, which is expected to close sometime during the second quarter, were not provided.