BakBone acquires Constant Data

By Ann Silverthorn

—BakBone Software this week announced that it has acquired data replication vendor Constant Data for $5.5 million. It is BakBone's first acquisition and is part of the company's move toward an Integrated Data Protection (IDP) strategy.

The acquisition adds replication to BakBone's flagship NetVault backup-and-recovery suite. Dave Russell, storage software research director at the Gartner IT consulting firm, says the move makes sense considering that the backup-and-replication markets will merge.

"BakBone gets replication products that they need for disk-based recovery and continuous availability, but they also get the capability for continuous data protection [CDP], which is getting a lot of play in the market," says Russell. He adds that BakBone isn't expected to leverage the CDP technology until next year. At that time, the company may introduce a software suite with CDP that could rival products such as Symantec/Veritas' Backup Exec10d.

BakBone plans to re-brand the Constant Data products next month, when it will introduce five replication products. Users will be able to purchase the products separately or as a suite.

"Constant Data was attractive because they provide the capability to do heterogeneous cross-platform replication, such as replicating from Windows servers to Linux servers, which fits in with NetVault," says Ken Horner, BakBone's senior vice president of business strategy. Horner adds that because 85% of BakBone's business is in the channel and 15% is OEM, Constant Data's channel strategy was also a good fit.

"BakBone has been interesting to watch over the last 18 months because they've had some accounting issues and had to re-state their financials," says Gartner's Russell. "But the company claims to be growing and gaining market share. From a customer perspective, this acquisition is a strong indication of BakBone's overall viability, where before it might have been in doubt because of how long it took to re-state financials."

"Our segment of the replication market is projected by Gartner to grow at a 29.5% CAGR over the next four years," says Horner. "Many users are just starting to deploy replication, and the foundation of replication extends into CDP, where market adoption hasn't really begun yet."

BakBone's recently announced Integrated Data Protection strategy is designed to help IT organizations centrally manage and control access to and availability of data. It will include five core services covering control, scheduling, reporting, security, and policy management.

This month, BakBone introduced the Report Manager module, which integrates real-time backup monitoring/reporting and storage resource management (SRM) functionality. BakBone collaborated with Otium Software, a UK-based provider of SRM software. Report Manager includes Backup Reporter ($495) and Disk Space Reporter ($278).

This article was originally published on November 17, 2005