AppAssure purchase adds virtualized backup to Dell's cloud mix

Dell adds virtual data backup and DR product AppAssure to its growing lineup of must-haves for the PC and server supplier's cloud services pitch.

Dell’s acquisition of the backup software company AppAssure last week fills a gap in its cloud strategy and gives Dell customers a cloud-based alternative to on-premises data backup.

AppAssure is a 230-employee company that’s been offering storage virtualization for backup and disaster recovery for physical, virtual and cloud environments since the mid-2000s. It released the latest version of its flagship product -- AppAssure Backup and Replication 4.7 -- in November.

AppAssure works with both virtual data centers as well as with public and hybrid clouds. It supports backup and recovery across most popular virtualization platforms, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer, plus physical servers as well.

"It allows you to backup data from anywhere in your organization to anywhere else," said Carl Brooks, analyst for infrastructure services at Tier1 Research.

Dell sells into 16 of the 20 largest cloud-based and social networking companies, so having a product like AppAssure, which can work equally well in physical, virtual and cloud environments, makes good sense and should work well across their application portfolio.
Charles Kingprincipal analyst at Pund-IT

Dell declined to talk about its plans for AppAssure. However, the move is congruent with the company’s intentions to preserve and expand its technology position as more enterprises look toward cloud computing. AppAssure gives Dell important backup and recovery, and security tools for its cloud services.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT said the acquisition appears overall to be a good move, as the PC and server maker strives to simultaneously build its storage product offerings and strengthen its cloud presence.

"Dell sells into 16 of the 20 largest cloud-based and social networking companies, so having a product like AppAssure, which can work equally well in physical, virtual and cloud environments, makes good sense and should work well across their application portfolio," King said.

That jibes with other recent acquisitions, such as Dell's purchase of highly-virtualized storage solutions vendor Compellent last year, he added.

The jury is still out, however, on whether Dell's foray into cloud and virtualization storage will fit with the company's evolving markets. "They're adding arrows to their quiver [but] they're mostly still a hardware company," Brooks said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Dell plans to keep the firm's existing workforce. AppAssure is located in Reston, Va. Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.

Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for SearchCloudComputing.com. Contact him at sjohnston@techtarget.com.

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