EMC’s Isilon division has acquired Bellevue, Wash.-based Likewise, a maker of storage management software. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

NAS specialist Likewise recently ventured into analytics and compliance management software for unstructured data — a handy capability in the age of exploding data. The company’s bread and butter, however, is its Storage Services software for OEMs, which provides cross-platform NAS file access.

“Likewise was founded nearly seven years ago with a focus on providing an easy method for organizations to manage access and data across Windows, Linux & Unix, and Mac environments,” said Likewise CEO Barry Crist in a letter.

Crist follows up with some insight into what made his company such an attractive acquisition target, namely “helping enterprises of all sizes store and manage unstructured data across diverse computing platforms and environments.”

It also helps that Likewise has already “developed OEM relationships with the largest players in storage,” according to Crist. It’s a roster that includes heavyweights like HP and EMC.

Match Made In Big Data Heaven?

Isilon, develops scale-out NAS systems centered around OneFS, a file system that aggregates RAID and volume management. Realizing Isilon’s potential for Big Data storage in conjunction with its Atmos platform, EMC acquired the company in late 2010 for $2.25 billion.

The Likewise Storage Services platform for OEMs allows for secure, multi-protocol access to files across Windows, Unix and Linux storage environments. Likewise supports SMB/CIFS (1.0, 2.0, and 2.1), NFS, and HTTP/REST. Currently, the company is working on integrating NFS 4.1 and NFS 4.1 with pNFS as well as collaborating with Microsoft on SMB 2.2 support for non-Windows systems.

Likewise’s Data Analytics and Governance product is an automated, metadata driven solution that allows for the secure handling of sensitive data by providing context and identity links to unstructured data. It can provide compliance reporting for HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and FISMA.

Not only does EMC Isilon’s acquisition dovetail with Isilon’s Big Data playbook, it reflects a sustained, company-wide push into capturing more of the hot Big Data market.

Yesterday, EMC announced that it had acquired privately held Pivotal Labs, a provider of application development tools and services that specializes in social and the cloud. A prime motivation behind the deal is — you guessed it — Big Data.

According to EMC, “Pivotal Labs enhances EMC’s powerful portfolio of products and services, which are designed to enable organizations to store, analyze and take action on ‘Big Data’ -– datasets so large they break traditional IT infrastructures.”

Pivotal’s CEO, Rob Mee is on board with that line of thinking. In a blog post, he wrote, “For EMC, acquiring Pivotal provides expertise that enhances their ability to meet customers’ needs for cutting edge software development. EMC is confident that our methods can bring substantial benefits to the complex challenges of Big Data.”