To shore up its offerings for data backup and business continuity, Microsoft has acquired InMage, a provider of cloud-based disaster recovery technology. The acquisition is intended to help Microsoft position its Azure cloud platform as a destination for disaster recovery "for virtually every enterprise server in the world," and as an onramp for VMware customers looking to migrate their applications to the cloud.
On its official blog, Microsoft's VP of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Takeshi Numoto addressed the importance of business continuity. In case of a system failure or more widespread disaster, being able to quickly recover data and applications are key to business continuity.
"Revenue, supply chains, customer loyalty, employee productivity and more are on the line," Numoto wrote. However, proper backup and replication of systems can be very complicated and expensive. "CIOs consistently rank business continuity as a top priority, but often don't have the budgets or time to do it right."
Integrating the Tech
Microsoft said it is committed to solving this challenge for its customers, and its acquisition of InMage is a step toward that goal. Bringing InMage under its umbrella will enable Microsoft to accelerate its plans for providing hybrid-cloud business-continuity solutions. The objective is to serve virtually any IT environment, including Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, now that the acquisition had been completed, Microsoft is working quickly to integrate InMage's Scout technology into its Azure Site Recovery service. The goal is to give customers a simple, cost-effective way to ensure business continuity with the "power and scale" of the Azure global cloud.
The company has already said it plans to enable data migration to Azure with Scout. Current customers can continue to use the InMage products and services. In the future, customers will acquire Scout through Microsoft's Azure Site Recovery. Additionally, Microsoft said it will continue to work with InMage's existing service-provider partners, as well as new partners, to offer the companies' mutual customers a variety of products and services.
Leveraging the Cloud
Looking at the big picture, Microsoft's Numoto emphasized that enterprise customers are still trying to find the best, most valuable ways to take advantage of cloud computing. Using cloud technology for backup and to be prepared for business continuity and disaster recovery can be a great place to start.
Laura DuBois, research VP for IDC, gave Microsoft's InMage acquisition the thumbs-up. She called it "a great move to meet important customer needs with the cloud as a target for disaster recovery," in a poorly understood and under-served market.