IBM acquires hybrid storage vendor Cleversafe

IBM plans to integrate Chicago-based Cleversafe into its IBM Cloud business unit in a bid to bolster its overall hybrid cloud storage portfolio.

IBM on Monday said it has acquired Cleversafe, a provider of hybrid or object-based storage.

IBM plans to integrate Chicago-based Cleversafe into its IBM Cloud business unit in a bid to bolster its overall hybrid cloud storage portfolio.

Founded in 2004, Cleversafe specializes in object-based storage, which differs from other cloud storage options in that it treats data as objects and is considered vastly more scalable than traditional file systems.

Cleversafe's storage approach relies on algorithms to slice data into pieces and then reassemble the information from a single copy, which IBM says allows for data storage that is both cheap and secure.

In its news release announcing the acquisition, IBM cited IDC data that 80 percent of new cloud applications will be big data intensive and require massive storage space. IDC predicts the object storage market will reach $28 billion by 2018.

Cleversafe customers include online photo storage site Shutterfly and media storage vendor Sky, as well as clients in the financial services, healthcare and the federal government sectors.

Additionally, some 200 Cleversafe employees will transition over to IBM. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal caps off a busy buying year for IBM. Late last month the computing giant bought Meteorix, and just a few weeks before that snapped up software startup StrongLoop in an aim to strengthen its Node.js expertise.

A more substantial purchase came in August, when IBM acquired Merge Healthcare for $1 billionin an effort to give its Watson cognitive computing system the ability to see medical images.

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