Revivio Finds Buddy; Buyer Next?

As acquistion talk swirls, Revivio lands a deal to put its CDP software on QLogic's switch

May 16, 2006

4 Min Read
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Continous data protection (CDP) startup Revivio picked up a strategic partner today, but it wasn't the big deal industry insiders are waiting for.

QLogic said it would sell Revivio CDP software on the SANBox 8000 intelligent switch product it grabbed by acquiring Troika last October (See QLogic, Revivio Team and QLogic Picks Up Troika).

The partnership comes as talk swirls that Revivio will be the next CDP startup to get acquired. Industry sources say IBM is strongly considering buying the startup. The two already have a deal that calls for Revivio to integrate IBM's CDP for files into its enterprise CDP product. (See Revivio Integrates IBM Tivoli CDP.) Hewlett-Packard is also believed to be looking for a CDP startup, with Revivio and Mendocino Software supposedly in the running.

"Revivio has been seriously shopped for about six months now," says one industry source.

"I've heard that too," an analyst says. "Serious candidates include IBM and HP."Sources at several storage companies and other CDP startups also say they expect IBM to acquire the startup. Perhaps such talk is fueled by EMC's $153 million acquisition of CDP and replication startup Kashya last week. (See EMC Coughs Up for Kashya.) It's no secret that storage hardware and backup software vendors have been looking to add CDP technology to their products. IBM and HP sell storage hardware and software, as does EMC.

"I can't say who will be next, but the acquisition cycle isn't over," says analyst Dianne McAdam of The Clipper Group. "There are few CDP startups that haven't partnered with somebody."

Two other CDP startups were acquired since last November -- Storactive by backup vendor Atempo, and Lasso Logic by security appliance vendor SonicWall. (See Atempo Swallows Storactive and Another Run at Secure Storage.)

Meanwhile, Mendocino Software last year secured OEM deals with EMC and HP, although EMC will replace Mendocino with the technology it bought from Kashya. (See EMC Pulls Forward With Backup and HP Bundles Up With MS.)

McAdam says it's hard for a CDP startup to make it on its own, regardless of how good its technology is. "If a startup says, 'I'm going to protect your data,' enterprise customers ask, 'Are you going to be around for five years?'" she says.Despite today's strategic alliance, a QLogic executive says the company is not looking to buy a CDP startup. QLogic marketing VP Frank Berry says the Revivio alliance lets QLogic offer CDP to channel and OEM partners that want it, but he doesn't expect QLogic to become a full-fledged CDP vendor. "We don't want to compete with our [OEM] customers," Berry says.

Revivio SVP of business development Kirby Wadsworth won't comment on acquisition talk, but he says Revivio is trying to land more partnerships such as the one with QLogic. QLogic will take the TimeOS software that Revivio sells on a network-based appliance and put it onto its intelligent switch.

For QLogic, CDP represents another service for the intelligent switches it now sells through the channel but hopes to see through OEM deals with storage vendors eventually. QLogic already offers replication and storage virtualization on its switch through a partnership with StoreAge that was in place before the Troika deal. QLogic is looking to forge strategic alliances in areas such as virtual tape library (VTL) and security to beef up its intelligent switch platform, Berry says.

The QLogic-Revivio alliance is not surprising, considering early CDP customers say they consider CDP part of an overall data protection strategy rather than a separate product category. They're finding CDP is mostly about the recovery part of backup and recovery.

For example, Kern Weissman, director of infrastructure for Hackensack, New Jersey-based trucking firm CD&L, uses Business Continuity Server, a CDP product from Revivio competitor Asempra, to make sure applications such as SQL Server and Exchange can be restored quickly after a crash."If one of our large databases were to become corrupted or ... crash, in the restore process we could bring that database up that much faster," Weissman says. "Our users could have it back in a few minutes instead of waiting for the entire restore to be complete."

Daemonn Brody, technical director at U.K.-based Internet service provider Mistral, uses Atempo's LiveServe CDP application acquired from Storactive. He says the key purpose of CDP is to have "a safe, recoverable store of the data."

"You want the tools to make users' stored data up-to-date and relevant, and with the ability to take the risk out of the recovery of it," he says.

Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Atempo Inc.

  • Asempra Technologies

  • The Clipper Group Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Mendocino Software

  • QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC)

  • Revivio Inc.

  • SonicWall Inc. (Nasdaq: SNWL)

  • StoreAge Networking Technologies Ltd.0

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