Rocket Software Inc. has added the assets of file system archiving startup Arkivio Inc. to its portfolio of companies, which includes backup reporting vendor Servergraph and mainframe storage management software maker Mainstar Software Corp.
A company spokesman declined comment on whether any integration is planned within Rocket's growing portfolio of storage products, or if Rocket would continue to operate these acquired companies as separate business units. According to the Arkivio Web site, CEO Giovanni Paliska, will be general manager of the Arkivio business group and focus on the core OEM business, while Servergraph's general manager, Don Becker, will manage direct sales to enterprise customers. The Web site also said Rocket will continue to develop and support Arkivio's products.
Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) analyst Brian Babineau said that Arkivio has struggled, despite securing OEM deals with EMC Corp., Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp) and Plasmon PLC for its archiving products. File system archiving, he said, has not caught on as quickly in the market as archiving for semistructured data, such as email. "There has been confusion about vendors' methods and perceived risk among users when it comes to migrating data," he said.
According to Babineau, Arkivio OEM partners NetApp and EMC tend to keep it at arm's length, either because they have competing products, such as DiskXtender in the case of EMC, or because support for a relatively small number of customers isn't judged cost-effective. "This is bottom-feeding for Rocket," he said. "Arkivio had few strategic options left."
Arkivio does have user references who say the product has come in handy, mainly for visibility into unstructured data. Matt Decker, manager of IT infrastructure for Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology (FM&T), said that his company uses the software to analyze what data is being stored on its file servers and to identify trends in that data.
"The visibility has been what's really important," rather than the migration features, he said, though Honeywell also uses Arkivio's AutoStore software to migrate data to an EMC Centera. "Because the software tells us what kind of data is in our files, we've been able to make our storage purchasing forecasts more predictable and identify the causes of sudden growth," he said.
Decker said he also wasn't expecting Rocket to overhaul or integrate Arkivio's IP with other products, based on messages he received from Rocket executives this week. "I did have a message which said things aren't going to change a whole lot."