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Acronis on the prowl?

Out to become bigger dog in backup yard

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Combine that with a deduplicated image data store and the restore time to system availability looks more acceptable. Also, Acronis mid-market customers are unlikely to have their own disaster recovery data centres and facilities so an Acronis deduplicated and cloud-based offering would provide extra DR cover for these customers.

It is unlikely, extremely so, that Acronis would build its own data centre infrastructure for this. Instead, it would look to hire server and storage resources in hosting service facilities.

Donahue adds that the Acronis business has an element of counter-cyclicality to it because, in these straitened times, customers look to extend the lives of existing servers, and so take out additional backup and restore insurance in case their ageing servers break.

We should think of the Acronis technology roadmap evolving along these lines but we should also think of Acronis acquiring other companies. Donahue reckons the valuation of companies with negative cash flows is becoming quite low because of the recession and venture capital/private equity backers wanting to stop pouring cash into what have become drains with no upside visible for several quarters, possibly years.

Donahue suggests that a potential purchase could offer a significant channel capability in a geography where Acronis is less well represented, and could also offer products and/or technology that complement the existing Acronis ones.

Acronis wants to bulk up and become a bigger dog in the yard; a David wants to join the Goliaths. Donahue says success comes from good execution and, as far as he is concerned, he can see an achievable transition ahead to becoming top dog in the deduplicated and cloud-enhanced bare metal restore and backup market.

EMC's Mozy, Carbonite and other cloud data protection providers can see the same things as he can and, like him, they probably reckon there is going to be a lot of displacement, meaning consolidation, in this fragmented market. They too will be aiming to counter the same cloud pipe bandwidth limitation that Acronis has in mind.

Donahue seems clear that Acronis' ace in the hole is the bare metal and app-aware restore. Let the others try and duplicate that. ®

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