StorageCraft Acquires Gillware Data Services Data Analytics Tech

Matt Medeiros

Data protection and disaster recovery technology vendor StorageCraft Technology has expanded its capabilities with the acquisition of intelligent recovery and data access solutions from Gillware Data Services.

The acquisition, the first since a $187 million equity investment in StorageCraft by venture firm TA Associated early this year, brings the vendor a number of tools, particularly an application called Backup Analyzer, said Matt Medeiros, StorageCraft CEO.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Medeiros told CRN, the Gillware acquisition was paid for using cash from the increased cash flow StorageCraft has seen since it received its equity investment.

[Related: Q&A: StorageCraft's New CEO Matt Medeiros Discusses Plans After $187M Equity Investment]

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Draper, Utah-based StorageCraft did not acquire all of Madison, Wis.-based Gillware. That company has a separate business unit, Gillware Data Recovery, focused on data recovery services, which will remain independent after the acquisition, Medeiros told CRN.

StorageCraft also assumes the leases on two data centers Gillware had been operating and now owns the equipment in them.

StorageCraft's acquisition of Gillware Data Services' solutions stems from a need for businesses of all sizes to improve the way they protect data, Medeiros said.

"The growth of data has led businesses to continue adding more storage," he said. "And while the cost of storage media is falling, the total cost of ownership is growing at a high rate. The current approach of treating all storage as equal is not working."

Gillware's Backup Analyzer helps customers determine what data is important, what is not important, and what data is growing, Medeiros said.

"We saw Backup Analyzer as a way to help partners look at the data and see who has access to the data streams," he said. "They can use the tool to better manage backups to whatever mediums customers use, including on-premises and the cloud. Think of a Venn diagram with data protection, data analytics and security. Backup Analyzer looks at the intersection of the three."

The Gillware Data Services business will be fairly easy for StorageCraft to integrate, Medeiros said. About 90 percent of Gillware's customers are already customers of StorageCraft's ShadowProtect backup and recovery software as well as other StorageCraft technologies.

"One plus one equals three, in this case," Medeiros said. "For the other 10 percent of Gillware customers who use it in other environments, we will continue to sell it as a stand-alone solution. There's no reason to not do so. We already have a good product road map. The development of Backup Analyzer is not finished by any means."

Gillware Data Services provides a solid, robust system and one of the best backup tools for customers, said Jason Adamany, president and founder of Adesys, a Fitchburg, Wis.-based managed services provider and Gillware channel partner.

Adesys' customers run from five to 200 seats in health care, financial services and other markets, Adamany told CRN. "The Gillware solution encrypts data point to point, making it ideal for these types of customers," he said. "And they have solutions for customers with no servers, who may just have a couple of desktops."

Adesys has had limited exposure to StorageCraft because its clients are typically too small to take advantage of that company's solutions. However, Adamany said, he is pleased that Gillware's staff will remain intact under StorageCraft. "We have good relationships with them," he said. "They now have an opportunity to grow with the resources of StorageCraft behind them."

Jim Blair, managing partner of Aberdean Consulting, a Madison, Wis.-based MSP and Gillware channel partner, said StorageCraft will likely bring a lot more resources to the Gillware technology.

"Early on, the Gillware backup solution was not ready for us, but the company eventually offered a solid solution," Blair told CRN.

Gillware's Backup Analyzer provides good visibility into a customer's data, Blair said.

"We were late to partnering with Gillware primarily because it didn't initially offer Backup Analyzer," he said. "We weren't comfortable without it. We also work with Windows Server Backup and Mozy, but the Gillware analyzer tool is much better."

Medeiros said StorageCraft is by no means finished with acquisitions. Indeed, he said, acquisitions are important for future growth.

"We have been putting together a world-class sales team, and we recognize we need more arrows in our quiver," he said. "We've already doubled our number of developers this year and have invested in more engineering resources. Gillware is in no way the last acquisition we will do."