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Microsoft Acquires Hybrid Cloud Storage Vendor Avere Systems

The deal targets large-scale compute workloads running in cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments and comes less than 10 months after Google invested in Avere.

Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire hybrid cloud storage vendor Avere Systems today, targeting large-scale compute workloads running in cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments.

The deal comes less than 10 months after Google invested in Avere Systems, participating in a $14 million funding round in March 2017. Avere Systems at the time said that the investment round would be enough to bring the hybrid cloud storage company to profitability in 2018.

High-performance computing and storage is not a new area of investment for Microsoft, which started to offer access to Cray supercomputers in Azure data centers as a cloud service back in October. In targeting enterprise customers, public cloud vendors like Microsoft and Google have had to boost support for compute-intensive workloads, common in industries including media and entertainment, manufacturing, life sciences, and others. 

Microsoft Azure corporate vice president Jason Zander said that Avere’s technology uses an “innovative combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads.” It offers high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Avere Systems president and CEO Ronald Bianchini Jr. said that its “shared focus on large enterprise applications makes Microsoft a great fit for Avere.”

“Avere and Microsoft both recognize that there are many ways for Enterprises to leverage data center resources and the cloud,” Bianchini said. “Our shared vision is to continue our focus on all of Avere’s use cases - in the datacenter, in the cloud and in hybrid cloud storage and cloud bursting environments. Tighter integration with Azure will result in a much more seamless experience for our customers.”

It is unclear whether the acquisition and tighter integration with Azure will have any impact on Avere’s relationship with Google Cloud, which goes back to 2015. Google shared a tutorial as recently as last month for customers wanting to integrate on-premises storage with Google Cloud using an Avere vFXT virtual appliance. 

Avere said its cloud business grew by 97 percent in 2016, nearly doubling its growth from the previous year.

The Avere team will join the Microsoft team in Pittsburgh.

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