HP Hops on OuterBay

Latest storage acquisition features database archiving specialist

February 8, 2006

3 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard made another foray into the storage market today, snapping up privately held archiving specialist OuterBay Technologies for an undisclosed fee. (See HP Acquires OuterBay.)

The move follows HPs acquisition of storage management vendor AppIQ and IT asset management specialist Peregrine Systems last year, deals said to be worth a total of more than $600 million. (See HP Chomps AppIQ & Peregrine and HP Acquires Peregrine.)

This time, HP is attempting to boost its database story. The move also reflects HP’s desire to make an impact in the Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) space, as users look to shift their data between different "tiers" of storage.

OuterBay offers a number of archiving products. These include LiveArchive, an online database archive for applications such as SAP and Oracle, and Encapsulated Archive for long-term data retention. (See Oracle Validates OuterBay and OuterBay Integrates With SAP.) The startup has managed to rack up around a 100 customers dotted across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. (See OuterBay Grabs Bunch of Customers and ArvinMeritor.)

U.K.-based manufacturing firm Denby Pottery is one of these customers, and Mark Allcock, Denby’s IT manager, welcomes the deal. “I think that it will be a good thing... They are probably going to get much wider support than they had previously.”Plans to extend OuterBay’s reach are already underway. “There will be future bundles where we offer OuterBay software with HP storage,” Frank Harbist, general manager of HP’s StorageWorks division, told Byte and Switch today. He says these are likely be on the market within the next two quarters.

But, Harbist notes, "There will be broader integration across a broader swathe of HP products, and that will take longer.” Around 60 percent of users rely on HP’s Integrity servers to run Oracle databases, he says, making the hardware platform a good fit for OuterBay. “We’re just beginning to explore what the technical synergies are for servers."

The exec also confirmed that most of OuterBay’s 60-odd employees, including the startup’s CEO, Michael Howard, will be joining HP. “We’re working through the final details, but there will be some redundant admin positions that will not receive offers from HP."

OuterBay will also be leaving its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., although Harbist predicts this should not be too much of a hardship. “They are within three or four block’s of HP’s Cupertino site."

Storage is clearly high priority for HP, whose storage division floundered under previous HP CEO Carly Fiorina, but has rebounded since Mark Hurd took over the company last March. (See HP Storage Slammed.) HP upgraded its EVA systems for the first time in more than two years last May, adding products such as high-end NAS, virtual tape, WAN acceleration, and backup services through partnerships with PolyServe, Sepaton, Riverbed, and Asigra.HP and OuterBay are not exactly strangers -- last September the storage giant announced plans to resell OuterBay’s Application Data Management (ADM) Suite. Under the terms of the deal, HP also integrated ADM Suite with its own database archiving product, Reference Information Manager (RIM) for Databases. (See HP Resells OuterBay.)

But OuterBay also has a relationship with HP’s ILM archrival EMC, and initial indications are that the HP will maintain that partnership. (See EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit and EMC Puts OuterBay Inside.)

The OuterBay acquisition is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • AppIQ Inc.

  • Asigra Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • OuterBay Technologies Inc.

  • PolyServe Inc.

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • Sepaton Inc.0

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