Quantum extends virtualization opportunities with Pancetera acquisition

Combining technologies will provide solutions for more efficient and cost-effective data protection and management in virtual environments

Backup, recovery, and archive specialist Quantum is adding a new specialized software solution to help with data protection for virtual machines in its DXi and StorNext product lines.

To do that, the company reported it is buying virtual machine backup specialist Pancetera for $12 million. With all of the high-priced acquisitions taking place right now across the IT industry, $12 million may not sound like a lot of money. In fact, it may seem like even less after you realize the acquisition isn't a pure cash transaction -- instead, Quantum is only paying $8.4 million in cash and $3.6 million in Quantum common stock (approximately 1.2 million shares) to acquire the virtual storage optimization startup.

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Quantum is putting together a complete package for data protection and recovery. With the acquisition, it's gaining a Linux virtual appliance that can help reduce the impact of management tasks in virtual environments across backup, replication, archiving, security scanning, data loss prevention (DLP), and WAN mobility. Pancetera claims its appliance can also help reduce storage I/O load by as much as 80 percent and provides more efficient use of existing storage. It also lets system administrators browse, move, and copy VM files as easily as browsing a Windows network drive within a single, unified console across hypervisors and data stores.

Jon Gacek, CEO of Quantum said, "Together with our DXi deduplication and replication appliances, Pancetera's technology allows Quantum to offer higher performance, easier-to-use, and more cost-effective solutions for managing and protecting data in virtual environments."

While virtualization provides significant flexibility and economic benefits, it also introduces a number of challenges in data storage, across both primary storage as well as backup. And according to a survey conducted by Quantum last year, four out of five IT managers reported difficulties with backing up virtualized environments. That's an alarming number and should signify a major need for a solution.

Perhaps the biggest challenge, according to Quantum, is the duplicated or redundant data found in both VMs and most backup applications that store this data many times over, consuming storage and server resources, extending backup and recovery windows, and consuming more network bandwidth than it should.

Finding the time and resources to do backup and recovery in a virtual server environment, which tend to be 24/7 operations, is an additional challenge. And when you throw in the problem of protecting remote sites and having to deliver disaster recovery across locations, IT departments are struggling to keep their heads above water.

Quantum is betting that the solution will be a combination of its DXi appliances and the technology gained from Pancetera.

Companies like Veeam, Quest, and PHD Technologies have already made a name for themselves in the industry by attacking the virtualization backup and recovery problem with purpose-built offerings. Now that Quantum has more of the pieces it needs to complete the puzzle, it not only has to create the right solution, it also has to make enough noise to be perceived as a major player in the virtualization market.

But this acquisition isn't just about gaining new technology; Quantum is also adding valuable virtualization and storage management expertise to its team. Most of the Pancetera employees are joining the company, including its co-founders Mitch Haile (CTO and vice president of product management) and Greg Wade (vice president of engineering), as well as CEO Henrik Rosendahl. These three senior leaders bring with them broad industry experience, having served at companies such as VMware, Data Domain, and Legato Systems.

Quantum said its DXi disk backup and deduplication products are already compatible with Pancetera technology, so there shouldn't be any integration issues or major surprises; the company should be able to bring its solution to market very quickly. Thinking longer-term, Quantum said it will continue to integrate the acquired technologies into its existing roadmaps for both DXi and its StorNext file sharing and archive offerings.

This article, "Quantum extends virtualization opportunities with Pancetera acquisition," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.