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Microsoft Acquires InMage To Expand DR On Azure Cloud

The acquisition of disaster recovery technology provider InMage is only one of several moves to find new ways to bring more data to Microsoft Azure as a prelude to offering customers more cloud services.

Microsoft has acquired InMage, a developer of cloud-based business continuity technology, as part of a continuing series of moves to add storage-focused value to the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

The acquisition, first unveiled in a Friday blog post by Takeshi Nomuto, Microsoft's corporate vice president of cloud and enterprise marketing, comes at a time when Microsoft is beefing up its cloud storage capabilities via its own technologies and with the help of several strategic partners.

With the acquisition, Microsoft plans to integrate the InMage Scout backup and replication software with Microsoft's Azure Site Recovery service, Nomuto wrote in his blog. The integration actually builds on earlier plans from Microsoft to enable data migration to Azure with InMage Scout, he wrote.

[Related: Storage In Microsoft Environments: So Many Approaches]

"With the completion of this acquisition, we are now working to integrate the InMage Scout technology into our Azure Site Recovery service in order to give customers a simple, cost-effective way to ensure business continuity with the power and scale of the Azure global cloud," he wrote.

InMage Scout provides application-aware recovery for remote and/or local requirements. The application continuously captures data changes in real time to do local backup or remote replication simultaneously with a single data stream. According to InMage, the result is instantaneous and granular local data recovery along with "push-button application level failovers to remote sites" for disaster recovery.

Inmage also provides ScoutCloud, a technology which allows the deployment of disaster recovery-as-a-service for service providers.

Microsoft's Azure Site Recovery service helps automate the recovery of services if a primary data center goes down, including orchestrating the spinning up of virtual machines to help restore service for multi-tier workloads.

The acquisition makes a lot of sense, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner to both Microsoft and InMage.

"It's smart for Microsoft to enable customers to get more data to the Azure cloud," Woodall told CRN.

The InMage technology will help expand the ability of Microsoft to leverage its Azure cloud for a wider range of data types and applications, Woodall said.

"Imagine having a data center with a mix of Windows, Unix, and Linux data and you want to leverage the Azure Site Recovery Service," he said. "InMage would get data replicated to the cloud on a scheduled basis so you could use the service. It gives real-time data management. It's a mature, proven technology."

NEXT: Microsoft Looks To Leverage Azure For Storage In So Many Ways


The acquisition of InMage is one of several moves by Microsoft during this week's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference to bring more data to the Azure cloud.

NetApp on Monday unveiled a new solution for extending on-premise data directly to the Microsoft Azure public cloud via Microsoft's Azure ExpressRoute technology as part of a seamless hybrid cloud environment, whether that data sits on stand-alone NetApp hardware or on the FlexPod NetApp-Cisco joint-venture reference architecture.

EMC on Tuesday unveiled a similar relationship with Microsoft as well.

This week also saw Cisco and Microsoft ink a three-year agreement to drive integration between their cloud and data center technologies, including Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus switching line and Microsoft's Cloud OS solutions including Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server, and Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft last week updated its StorSimple appliance-based data protection service for its Azure public cloud with a virtual appliance that can be used to add value to data in the cloud, as well as a higher-capacity, on-premise appliance with standby virtual machines for disaster recovery.

Microsoft did not provide terms for the acquisition, and did not respond to a request for further information.

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