HP Adds OuterBay to ILM Mix

In a move to round out its Information Lifecycle Management strategy, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday signed a definitive agreement to acquire a provider of archiving software for enterprise applications and databases.

HP will purchase OuterBay for an undisclosed amount. OuterBay’s Application Data Management Suite, an information lifecycle management solution, allows users to move data between storage tiers based on its current value to the business, and maintain open access to archived data across applications, platforms and storage media.

“OuterBay builds on HP’s enterprise portfolio to help companies get more from their mission-critical database environments,” said Bob Schultz, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s StorageWorks division. “Sixty percent of our HP Integrity server customers are running Oracle applications and databases today, making this a key capability for our existing customers.”

On an Acquisition Roll

Together with HP’s recent purchases of Persist, AppIQ and Peregrine Systems, the OuterBay acquisition is part of the company’s overall strategy to bolster its server, storage and software offerings. HP wants to make a way for customers to quickly adapt to changing business needs and explodinginformation growth.

“This acquisition is fascinating. HP is changing in that it has made decisions to acquire companies rather than to develop technologies in house to give them faster time to market,” said independent storage analyst Diane MacAdam.

HP’s acquisition strategy is indicative of an industry trend of which EMC is also a part, MacAdam told TechNewsWorld. She expects to see additional acquisitions in the server and storage space this year as companies look for the best way to fill gaps in product lines.

Performance Benefits

With OuterBay’s technology, HP said it can help organizations to more effectively manage database growth and improve database performance by up to 80 percent — a critical capability in today’s business environment where database information is in constant use.

The technology additionally will enable HP to expand its solutions for customers deploying Oracle, SQLServer, and Sybase databases as well as major enterprise applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, SAP and PeopleSoft.

“This acquisition allows HP customers to more efficiently use storage,” MacAdam said. “It’s a way of peering inside the database and taking less active data and moving it to more cost-effective storage. This absolutely plugs into HP’s ILM strategy.”

Compounding Opportunities

OuterBay’s technology adds to HP’s growing portfolio of information lifecycle management solutions. Customers will be able to more easily manage the retention of information in their databases in the same manner that they strategically manage the retention of their e-mail, HP said.

The transaction also creates opportunity for HP’s enterprise business in the database archiving market, which is currently growing at a 50 percent compound annual growth rate, according to HP.

Addressing a Dual Challenge

“HP and OuterBay share a common vision for delivering comprehensive database and ILM solutions,” said Michael Howard, chairman and chief executive officer, OuterBay. “As part of HP’s family of solutions, OuterBay will help customers address the dual challenge of data retention and growth with acomplete systems approach.”

The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. Following completion, OuterBay will be integrated into the StorageWorks division of HP’s Technology Solutions Group.

OuterBay has approximately 60 employees, 100 customers, and offices in the U.S., the United Kingdom and India.

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