StorMagic Acquires SoleraTec For Edge Data Protection, Archiving

‘SoleraTec brought to us this ability to tier data between different classes of storage. The differentiator here is that we can move these bit objects of video from disk to tape to optical to the cloud, whatever the customer wants. The point is, get it off the expensive disk, because you don’t need it there all the time, and move it to lower-cost tiers, but always keep it active and available for searching,’ says Bruce Kornfeld, StorMagic’s chief marketing officer and chief product officer.

StorMagic, which provides data protection and security around customers’ data from the data center to the edge, on Tuesday unveiled the acquisition of SoleraTec, which develops video and digital asset management software.

With the acquisition, StorMagic also gets SoleraTec’s ARQvault video surveillance and digital evidence management technology that provides multiple tiers of storage from on-premises to the cloud to protect business users’ video and object storage data, said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing officer and chief product officer of Bristol, England-based StorMagic.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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SoleraTec has been around for about eight years, and has customers with about 3,500 sites worldwide, with a focus on government and law enforcement customers who have found ways to bring evidence into a large object store, Kornfeld told CRN. The technology organizes the videos so data is easy to search for and quickly find, he said.

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Customers struggle with that video data because it currently has to be stored on disk, which is expensive as more amounts of data are being stored longer than before, Kornfeld said.

“SoleraTec brought to us this ability to tier data between different classes of storage,” he said. ”The differentiator here is that we can move these bit objects of video from disk to tape to optical to the cloud, whatever the customer wants. The point is, get it off the expensive disk, because you don’t need it there all the time, and move it to lower-cost tiers, but always keep it active and available for searching. A lot of competitors can do a backup or an archive, but once you archive video off a disk, you can’t find it very easily, and you have to restore it.”

The SoleraTec technology provides video data management across industries, but focuses its digital evidence management on the law enforcement and government industries, Kornfeld said.

SoleraTec’s core technology is an advanced object store, which is good for storing large amounts of data, and is currently tuned for video data, Kornfeld said.

“But it’s not a far cry to think about what else can you do to put front-end capability to ingest other types of files,” he said. ”That’s the stuff that I’m working with as chief product officer.”

The people that decided to acquire SoleraTec and its ARQvault technology had the right idea because of how the market is moving and how long clients are now required to keep data, said John Berry, president of Berry Solutions Group, an Altoona, Pa.-based MSP and StorMagic channel partner.

“’Forever storage’ is a term that was hard to get past in the past because of clients’ requirements,” Berry told CRN. “ARQvault will have the ROI (return on investment) to make it well received in the market.”

Berry said his business works a lot with camera technologies and the metadata of video data, and is looking to get the ARQvault technology into its labs to test.

“We need to see what it takes to break the solution so we’ll know what it can do in the field,” he said. “We’re looking at verticals where we can use the video archiving technology, and we’re looking at digital evidence management for our law enforcement clients’ body cams. Footage from body cams has been difficult to manage. We have been using NAS systems to manage it, but NAS is unintelligent and is expensive. There hasn’t been a real elegant way to get data to the cloud with chain of custody. I will be looking at that with digital evidence management.”

StorMagic’s acquisition of SoleraTec will help increase the market for TSA, or Technical & Scientific Application, said Ted Helgesen, solution architect of the Marietta, Ga.-based solution provider and StorMagic partner channel partner for the last two years.

“This will help expand our footprint with manufacturing and retail,” Helgesen told CRN. “All our customers in these spaces have video surveillance. This will let us sell the who package. Clients now by the components. This will be our first go-around with a complete solution. We’re excited about it.”

The new StorMagic and SoleraTec technology, particularly their digital evidence management product, is important for law enforcement clients, Helgesen said.

“Think desk cameras and body cameras,” he said. “We have customers in law enforcement, but haven’t had the technology to engage with them like we will with StorMagic. This opens new doors for me.”

SoleraTec brings about six engineers and the company president to StorMagic. No price for the acquisition was given.

StorMagic has an all-channel sales focus. The company sells through distributors, and has a year-old relationship with Hewlett Packard Enterprise under which that company has replaced its older StoreVirtual virtual SAN technology with StorMagic’s SvSAN virtual SAN product.

SoleraTec is the second acquisition for StorMagic since it was founded over 10 years ago, Kornfeld said. The company last year acquired a security company, KeyNexus, which specializes in enterprise key management.

“The key management acquisition was about the fact that StorMagic has been very focused on simplifying storage for the edge for a long time,” he said. “Our edge customers were complaining about a lack of tools available for securing data at the edge. So we came out about a year ago with the ability for customers to encrypt their data at the edge and be able to manage all of their security keys.”

StorMagic is both a storage and a security vendor, Kornfeld said.

“They’re really related,” he said. “But I would say, we’re saying storage and security. A lot of what you’ll see is very intertwined between the two. But I see a transition of us as a storage and security company to more of a data management company.”

SoleraTec is on the data management side of the business, Kornfeld said.

“So all of a sudden now, we’re going to be able to bring all these pieces together: storage infrastructure, which we’ve had for a while; security with enterprise key management; and not we’re moving up a level into the data management world,” he said. “So StorMagic is all about storing and protecting customers’ data at the edge.”

Kornfeld declined to discuss whether StorMagic would make more acquisitions going forward.

“Our goal is to build a very successful company in this space,” he said. ”We’ve been around for a long time. We’ve done two acquisitions in the last year. We’re constantly making decisions about do we build something that our customers want? Or do we go acquire? Acquisitions are definitely things we’re looking at.”

Potential acquisitions could be on the security or data management side, or it could be related to analytics, Kornfeld said.

“Customers need to manage their data at the edge,” he said. ”But what they really need is to use it. They need to find ways of plugging in analytics programs, artificial intelligence. And we want to become the platform for that, so there could be opportunities in the data side or the analytics side. So who knows? But our eyes are open. We’re always looking to build a very successful company to be able to help our customers to be able to help protect and use their data at the edge.”

Therefore, StorMagic Tuesday also unveiled video surveillance and digital evidence management technologies to meet the growing wave of video data being collected at the edge, Kornfeld said.

“It’s something that’s really needed to deliver more value for our customers and frankly, selfishly, it brings us into a bigger market,” he said. ”It brings us into more opportunity to grow. And that’s what we’re all about.”