Imation Bulks Up Disk-Based Storage With ProStor InfiniVault Acquisition

The acquisition gives Imation the ability to take a leadership position in the market for protecting customers' data, said Ian Williams, vice president of global marketing and product management for Oakdale, Minn.-based Imation.

"We've done well in the consumer space and in the enterprise market," Williams said. "We've wanted to do more in the SMB market with VARs and VADs as well. So now we can leverage the ProStor platform for channel growth and SMB technology."

ProStor's InfiniVault family includes three models of disk-based appliances for long-term retention of data. "It's aimed at helping customers protect, retain, and restore their data," Williams said.

The ProStor InfiniVault line fits right in with Imation's other data protection technologies. These include a line of optical storage products, the RDX line of removable hard drives, and a wide range of tape backup technologies, Williams said.

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Imation's RDX removable hard drives were originally OEMed from ProStor. However, ProStor in March sold its RDX line to fellow backup and recovery technology developer Tandberg Data. Imation has since signed a long-term OEM agreement for RDX technology with Tandberg, Williams said.

"We could have developed something like InfiniVault in-house," he said. "But ProStor had a really good technology, and a good VAR and VAD channel. So InfiniVault can bolt onto our business immediately."

The ProStor InfiniVault acquisition also provided Imation an opportunity to expand its reach into markets now served by larger storage vendors, Williams said. "This is a green field opportunity for us," he said. "With the acquisition of Compellent (by Dell), Pillar Data (by Oracle), and EqualLogic (by Dell), there's a really big opportunity for Imation to fill in the hole in this market and compete with tier one vendors."

Imation also plans to make InfiniVault part of a converged storage and security offering, Williams said.

The company in March acquired encryption and data leakage security technology developer ENCRYPTX in one of its first moves related to its strategic shift away from a declining removable storage media business into data protection and connectivity.

It then followed up in June with the acquisition of MXI’s portable security solutions and technologies, including its authentication, digital identity, and data encryption products.

"In the long term, we'll have a great storage and security convergence story to talk about," Williams said.

Imation declined to discuss terms of the ProStor InfiniVault acquisition, other than to mention that it retained 15 employees in the marketing, sales, and engineering areas. It plans to keep ProStor's Boulder, Colo. office open, Williams said.