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Microsoft Buys Avere Systems For Hybrid Storage Market

Cloud storage continues to be a big drive for enterprises. Not only is the marketplace full of companies offering their own cloud storage solutions, but the practice itself has changed how companies create and distribute their products and services. It’s across all industries – entertainment, health care and education to name a few.

Microsoft is no exception to this rule. They serve not only the public and private cloud, but also in providing on-premises legacy solutions. Microsoft have made a number of investments over the years to try and provide the best scalable storage solutions and that continued earlier this year when they acquired Avere Systems.

Avere were founded in 2008 and since then raised $86 million in investment. Series E investors included the likes of Google and Western Digital, but it was ultimately Microsoft who came out trumps.

Avere Systems’ aim was to get other companies to maximise their storage performance, across a variety of platforms, especially in more expensive mediums like flash storage. In a blog post for the company, Avere CEO and president Ronald Bianchini Jr. wrote that the company has worked to provide customers an efficient method to share storage and compute resources across multiple data centres, across private and public cloud infrastructures; all things that Microsoft are aiming for.

“Avere uses an innovative combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads,” said Jason Zander, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Microsoft Azure. Microsoft have a lot of high-performance customers, especially those in the media industry, so this seems particularly beneficial for them. One example is Sony Pictures Imageworks, where decreased production time and lower costs are vital in a marketplace that demands getting things out of production quicker than ever before.

But it’s not just the media industry that can benefit from the Avere technology. Anywhere companies need more efficient use of high performance storage and the associated resources, like science, financial and manufacturing, will have an interest. The Library of Congress and John Hopkins University are two examples where Avere’s scalable datacentres and performance and capacity benefits have helped optimise data.

The acquisition was announced in January of this year and was finalised a month later. It was reported that the Avere team all joined Microsoft are were able to remain in their Pittsburgh offices. Indeed, the company still operates an independent online presence and their solutions are sold directly rather than via Microsoft.

“By bringing together Avere’s storage expertise with the power of Microsoft’s cloud, customers will benefit from industry-leading innovations that enable the largest, most complex high-performance workloads to run in Microsoft Azure,” said Zander. “We are excited to welcome Avere to Microsoft, and look forward to the impact their technology and the team will have on Azure and the customer experience.”

There’s no doubt that Microsoft will continue to expand their presence in the storage market. This won’t be the last acquisition they make as they race to compete against other large tech companies to become the number one enterprise solutions provider.


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