The news of Hitachi Data Systems revealing its intention to buy Archivas probably did not surprise anybody because the two vendors have been partners for quite some time.
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One of the results of that partnership was HCAP (Hitachi Content Archiving Platform), a joint archiving solution for structured and unstructured data that I described in a previous column.
Both vendors had much to gain from their partnership. For Hitachi, it meant spicing up its flagship TagmaStore offering with strategically relevant content management applications; for Archivas, it opened a much larger market opportunity.
But Archivas was not the only partnership Hitachi sought out. A quick scan of its recent history reveals other important milestones, such as Hitachi partnering with Diligent on ProtecTIER, a virtual tape library and deduplication solution suitable for mainframes and open systems. In December, Hitachi added another crucial partner, BlueArc, and extended its virtual portfolio with the high-performing Titan line of file servers.
Is the announced acquisition of Archivas a signal that others might follow? Hitachi gave away no clues during its Webcast announcing the acquisition. In fact, in answer to a specific question from an attendee, Hitachi Executive Vice President of Global Solutions Strategy and Development Jack Domme simply made the comment that the acquisition of Archivas just felt right and that any others would eventually go through a similar scrutiny. At the moment, Hitachi is not even revealing the financial terms of the deal (Domme declined comments or to reveal specifics), something that you would expect to be addressed in a Webcast focused on the acquisition news.
How will the acquisition impact HCAP and other offerings from Hitachi? The Webcast presented a good overview of the major features of HCAP, but anyone expecting a product roadmap (as I did) was left wanting more.
However disappointing Hitachi's reticence may be, it shouldn't obscure the importance of the deal. At minimum, the acquisition announcement shows that Hitachi values Archivas enough to invest some so-far-undisclosed money and secure its intellectual property, a move that shouldn't fail to reassure potential and current customers.
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