Breece Hill, StorageTek Each Make Buys In Storage Software Space

Breece Hill, a Louisville, Colo.-based manufacturer of tape automation, optical storage and disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) appliances, decided that bundling the Integrity data backup, migration, replication and archive software from Avail Solutions was not enough, so it bought the Escondido, Calif.-based firm.

Christopher Stone, Breece Hill's director of business development, said his company has been using Avail's software in its iStoRA D2D2T appliance since May and decided to acquire the company as part of a strategic move to enter the storage software space, where it can add more value to its products and channels.

"We wanted to become more of a data management company and less of a storage company," Stone said. "Look, SAIT tape fits a half-Tbyte of data on a cartridge now, and that's going to be 4 Tbytes in a couple years. You try finding data on a 4-Tbyte tape cartridge."

Dennis Bress, national sales manager of the broadcast division of Computer Upgrade, a Corona, Calif.-based solution provider, said the Avail software is a critical component to Breece Hill's integrated appliance and a foundation for his geophysical, broadcast, health-care and financial customers' D2D2T needs. D2D2T is moving from just a buzz word to a technology that customers are adopting, Bress said.

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"For Windows and/or Unix and/or Apple, over a Gigabit Ethernet interface, it allows for data to be written from where it is stored to disk within the Breece Hill storage box," Bress said. "Once it is written to disk, it frees the network. Avail verifies that data was backed up to disk, tells the network to go back and do other tasks, and then backs the data to tape."

For its part, Louisville, Colo.-based StorageTek's acquired Southborough, Mass.-based Storability, a developer of enterprise storage resource management software. StorageTek has been bundling Storability's Global Storage Manager software with its tape libraries, including the L180 and L700, both of which are sold through the channel, said Todd Rief, director of corporate strategy at StorageTek. Storability had no solution provider business. Instead, it focused on direct sales and used StorageTek as its only reseller, he said.

For StorageTek, the acquisition helps expand its information life-cycle management strategy by monitoring storage utilization to help free excess capacity and pinpoint backup problems from specific servers, Rief said.