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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced today it will acquire privately-held storage software firm Archivas for an undisclosed sum.

SearchStorage reports that sources close to the deal estimate HDS will cough up to $120m for the target.

Archivas, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, competes in the active archive and content management market, and is known for its scalable and hardware-independent Archivas Cluster software. It was founded in 2003 and to date has been backed by $28m in venture capital.

The area has been a favourite with storage vendors thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley and other compliance sore spots, though HDS is a little late to the hyperbole.

The buyout isn't much of a surprise; HDS already invested in Archivas with an OEM agreement back in February last year, in a bid to catch EMC's and NetApp's lead in content management with the Centera and Nearstore lines respectively. HP also makes an effort with Storageworks Reference Information Storage System.

In a conference call, HDS said it would maintain Archivas' other OEM arrangement with NEC.

Archivas CEO Gary Voight said: "The HDS management team has a depth of storage experience that provides an excellent synergy with our core archival business. We are confident that the combined companies will accelerate growth and better capitalise on new sales opportunities."

The job of executing the strategy falls to HDS' Global Solutions Strategy and Development organisation led by Jack Domme, which is focused on opening up new markets for a firm best known for big enterprise vertical selling. In December it bought NAS specialist BluArc to make a play at the growing high-performance computing sector.

More on the original HDS-Archivas partnership here at SearchStorage. The pair released the fruit of the arrangement in June, which was punted at HDS' lower end gear. ®

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