HP Storage Buy Finds One in a Million

HP today agreed to acquire partner OuterBay, a top provider of archiving
software for enterprise applications and databases.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

OuterBay’s software is used to manage database clutter and improve database
performance. The Cupertino, Calif., company’s Application Data Management
suite shuttles data between storage tiers, ensuring free access to archives
across applications, platforms and storage systems.

OuterBay’s software is prized for its ability to zero in on one file in a sea
of millions, a crucial feature for corporate customers wary of audits.

Expected by some experts to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 50
percent over the next few years, database archiving is one ingredient to
help corporations meet federal compliance deadlines for record retention.

This has made startups like OuterBay and Princeton Softech attractive in the
eyes of companies looking to fill out information lifecycle management (ILM)
strategies for capturing and policing information from its creation to its

HP, which bought AppIQ last year, already has a fairly deep storage portfolio covering data
protection, e-mail archiving and storage-management technologies.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company is hoping to capitalize before the database
archiving market enters its big growth spurt.

HP has partnered with OuterBay for roughly a year. Last September, HP
leveraged the pairing in
Reference Information Manager (RIM) for Database Archiving, software based
on OuterBay technology.

But HP officials said acquiring OuterBay will give the company a reach into the
back-end layer it lacked, boosting its solution set for customers running
Oracle, Microsoft and Sybase databases, as well as enterprise applications
from Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft.

Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of ILM and storage
software in HP’s StorageWorks division, said OuterBay can help the company
boost its server and services businesses.

For example, he said HP envisions scenarios where OuterBay’s software could
be bundled with HP’s Integrity servers and Oracle software. Some 60 percent
of HP’s Integrity customers pair the server with Oracle applications and
databases. Moreover, HP has a plan to tightly tie servers and storage

“This is a huge opportunity for HP to drive forward in the database
application market,” said Harbist, whose StorageWorks group will absorb
OuterBay and its roughly 60 employees.

“It’s a very large and growing market,” he told internetnews.com.
“We’ve seen a trend where customers are looking for how to get more done
with what they have and handle large and ever-growing volumes of information
they’re putting into their database environments.”

OuterBay’s OEM partners include HP rivals EMC, IBM and Sun
Microsystems. Harbist said HP’s goal is to preserve those relationships.

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