Dell Pursues Application-Aware Backups With AppAssure Buy

By Pedro Hernandez

Dell's efforts to beef up its enterprise storage portfolio continue with Friday's announcement that the company acquired Reston, Va.-based AppAssure, a developer of backup software. The deal's terms were not disclosed.

AppSense specializes in whole-server and application-aware backup and replication for Microsoft Exchange, SQL and Sharepoint, as well as data protection for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.

The company boasts landing more than 6,000 customers in over 50 countries in the years since first shipping its Replay software in 2007. Helmed by storage industry veterans, AppSense's management includes CEO and Chairman Naj Husain and COO Todd Fredrick, both formerly of Symantec/Veritas.

Bolstering Fluid Data

According to Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Storage, the AppAssure buy adds momentum to Dell's Fluid Data architecture initiative. He writes in a company blog post, "The acquisition helps Dell take another big step in our enterprise solutions strategy and deliver our Fluid Data architecture that automatically and intelligently protects and optimizes data protection and recovery."

Fluid Data describes storage systems and software centered primarily around the company's Compellent SAN platform that leverage technologies like thin provisioning to help businesses cope with ever-growing volumes of data.

Last month, during its first Storage Forum event in Europe, the company announced Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.0. Updates included 64-bit support as well as advanced tiering, thin provisioning and replication features. The Fluid Data flood continued with VMware vSphere Storage APIs for array integration and a vSphere 5 client plug-in.

Today's acquisition helps fill out the backup piece of the puzzle. The deal also arrives a time when storage infrastructures are growing increasingly cloudier.

"AppAssure unified backup, archive and replication solution guarantees near instant and 100 percent reliable application recovery from customers' servers to their datacenter and their cloud," he writes. "AppAssure's ability to protect entire applications enables service providers and enterprises to adopt a 'cloud model' to deliver fast, reliable and secure data protection."

For now, AppAssure's technology remains a software-only offering. However, Dell expects to bring it into the Fluid Data fold just as it has already done with its other acquired IP, namely EqualLogic, Compellent and the Fluid File System.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE

Follow InfoStor on Twitter

This article was originally published on February 24, 2012