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Overland Storage Acquires MaxiScale To Create Storage Pools

Overland Storage announced that it is acquiring the assets of MaxiScale Inc., a company whose technology enables highly scalable file serving and storage. MaxiScale makes it possible for multiple storage nodes to be managed as one large pool of storage resources to handle the quickly growing amount of data that companies need to maintain. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but publicly-traded Overland said it is acquiring privately-held MaxiScale's assets, intellectual property and is hiring six of its software and quality assurance engineers. MaxiScale's staff had already been reduced to those six engineers prior to the acquisition deal being made. MaxiScale had raised $25 million in venture capital since its founding in 2007.

The MaxiScale technology will be integrated into the next generation of Overland's SnapServer disk storage hardware line that will be available sometime in mid-2011, said Dr. Geoff Barrall, chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at Overland. The hardware sells in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. "We acquired [MaxiScale] because our plan is to ... build a scalable, clusterable network-attached storage (NAS) solution," Barrall said. "Up until today [SnapServer has] all been point products and what we wanted to do was to give the customer the ability to have them all share the same pool of storage on the back end."

Currently, when Overland customers need to add more SnapServers to their network, they have to determine which files are located in which storage nodes. With MaxiScale built in, data center managers can share a unified storage resource and if they need to increase performance they can easily add another SnapServer into the pool without having to worry about migrating the data.

While MaxiScale had developed the technology, it had not yet brought it to market, so it has found a good home with Overland, said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, a research firm. "Managing one of anything is easy, but 100 of anything is hard. MaxiScale developed scale-out technology whereby 100 things look, act and are managed as one," he explained.

Overland competes primarily in the small-to-medium-sized business market, but even in that market "data growth is going nuts, and it's all file based," Duplessie explained, adding that as data burdens grow, those companies are turning to cloud computing to manage that growth efficiently. Larger storage vendors such as EMC and Network Appliance are coming down market to compete against companies like Overland serving SMBs, and Overland also competes for SMB customers with a company called Data Robotics.