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Dell Adds AppAssure to New Software Business

Dell's new software chief John Swainson is wasting no time in adding to Dell's newly formed software business. The company last week said it is acquiring AppAssure, a provider of backup and recovery software.

The acquisition is the first since Dell tapped Swainson, the former CEO of CA Technologies and a longtime head of IBM's software business, as president of its new software business, earlier this month.

Founded in 2006, Reston, Va.-based AppAssure provides software that backs up servers and virtual machines (including VMware, Hyper-V and XenServer) as well as individual physical systems. The software can recover applications from premises-based datacenters and the cloud.

In addition to backing up and replicating VMs, Dell says it will be a welcome addition for its EqualLogic and Compellent storage arrays. "AppAssure's unique architecture delivers innovative cloud-enabled backup and replication solutions that meet the challenges of protecting the explosive growth of data in both virtual and physical environments," said Brad Anderson, president of Dell's Enterprise Solutions Group, in a statement.

AppAssure may not be a household name in the backup and recovery business but Forrester Research analyst Rachel Dines said in a blog post that the company has grown rapidly over the past year. And now that Dell is no longer reselling EMC's Data Domain solution, Dell will have its own internal IP with AppAssure and its recently released DR4000 appliance, based on its 2010 acquisition of Ocarina.

Dines said all of these moves together "signals that Dell is finally getting serious about addressing the backup and recovery market," particularly for SMBs. "Long term," she added, "I wouldn't be surprised if Dell also leveraged the DR4000 along with AppAssure to create another converged backup appliance to compete with EMC's Avamar and Symantec's Backup Exec (and maybe even NetBackup) appliance series."

The software, Dines points out, also offers the components needed for Dell to add more cloud backup capabilities.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on February 27, 2012