Western Digital Acquired Arkeia Software, Plans SMB Data Protection Push

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Western Digital has moved to beef up its SMB storage business and channel with the acquisition of Arkeia Software, a developer of data protection software and appliances for small and midsize businesses.

The acquisition, which closed in late December but was first unveiled Tuesday, gives Western Digital, a company best known as one of the three remaining hard drive vendors, a line of software, hardware appliances and virtual appliances that address SMB requirements for local and remote data protection solutions, said Tom Gallivan, vice president of SMB solutions at Irvine, Calif.-based Western Digital.

The acquisition helps Western Digital address several data protection trends now impacting the SMB market, including the migration of customers from software-only data protection solutions to purpose-built backup appliances, the continuing migration from tape to disk-to-disk backup solutions and the increasing move to combine hybrid clouds with on-premise storage for data protection, Gallivan said.


[Related: Report: Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Market Growth Surpasses Storage Software]

William Evans, the former CEO of Arkeia and now senior director of worldwide software marketing for Western Digital, said that while Arkeia did not offer a cloud service, it does give Western Digital partners and customers the ability to make private clouds a part of a complete data protection solution.

Arkeia encourages SMBs to use a hybrid cloud solution for data protection, which includes both local backup and automatic copying of data to a private cloud, Evans said.

"I think of the cloud as disks at another location," he said. "Everyone knows that having data backed up offsite is the key to successful data protection. SMBs traditionally used tape, or replicated data to an offsite location. Our technology provides the ability to back data up offsite. We already have many customers replicating data to remote locations."

Prior to the Arkeia acquisition, Western Digital provided data protection solutions to small businesses through its WD Sentinel, which provides a maximum capacity of 16 TB and includes Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials software to protect up to 25 client computers.

The Arkeia Network Backup Suite of data protection software protects data on Windows, Linux and multiple Unix platforms, and it supports data on such virtualization environments as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and Parallels Server.

The software can be purchased as a stand-alone product or as part of a physical or virtual data protection appliance.

NEXT: New Version Of Arkeia Network Backup Now Available

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