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Overland Captures Okapi

With its $5 million acquisition of iSCSI startup Okapi Software Inc., tape systems vendor Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL) is once again changing its complexion as it angles to dive into the disk-based appliance market (see Overland Buys Okapi for $5M).

The 23-year-old San Diego company announced today that it has acquired the startup for $2.5 million in stock, $1.8 million in cash, and $700,000 in assumed liabilities. Overland says Okapi's iSCSI and ATA disk-based technology will allow it to launch its first disk-based appliance in August 2003 (see Okapi Unlocks iSCSI, Okapi Puts iSCSI on Cheap Disk, and Okapi Launches Backup Accelerator). Okapi says it already has three paying customers for the appliance.

"It turns out Overland and Okapi had the same ambition," says John Matze, Okapi's founder, president, and CEO. He says both companies were interested in using disk as a caching mechanism to speed up backups, but to continue using tape for data archiving. "To merge these two companies is a great opportunity."

The technology, which enables users to back up first to disk and then to tape at block-transfer rates, offers significant performance improvements and reduces both backup and restore times dramatically compared with tape alone, according to John Cloyd, Overland's VP and general manager.

"This is the next logical evolution to follow," he says, noting that pure tape-based backup can't stand up to disk on performance. Still, he adds, "You can't leave behind the enormous capacity the tape libraries give you."

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