Datto buys Backupify to build out data protection portfolio

Datto is buying Backupify so it can offer a full range of data recovery services, regardless of where that data sits.

Both companies deal with data backup and recovery, but Backupify’s strength, according to Datto CEO Austin McChord, is protecting SaaS objects — data in [company]Google[/company] Docs or [company]Salesforce.com[/company] — while Datto focuses on protecting Windows and Linux applications running either on premises on physical servers or on local or private clouds.

While Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Backupify sells mostly into enterprise accounts, Datto focuses on sales through managed service providers (MSP) partners into small and medium businesses. “We have a divergent customer base and we’re excited about bringing Backupify down to SMBs and Datto up to Backupify’s big accounts,” McChord said.

“It’s almost amazing how little overlap there is,” he continued. “We are incredibly complementary and are joining together to build a data protection platform to protect data everywhere.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Datto, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, will keep [company]Backupify[/company] and its 100 employees in Cambridge. Those employees bring total headcount to about 400 people. Backupify CEO Rob May is now SVP of business development for Datto.

Backupify had raised just under $20 million from investors including Avalon Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Symantec and others. Datto has raised $25 million in one round led by shared investor General Catalyst — it was former VMware CTO Steve Herrod’s first funding deal after he joined that VC firm.

Backupify CEO Rob May becomes SVP at business development at Datto.

Backupify CEO Rob May becomes SVP at business development at Datto.

CenturyLink dives into disaster recovery with DataGardens buy

Continuing its cloud-related shopping spree, CenturyLink is buying DataGardens for its disaster recovery expertise. (Or, if you’re fond of awful acronyms, you can call it DRaaS for Disaster Recovery as a Service.)

Terms were not disclosed. By dint of M&A, CenturyLink has fashioned itself into a cloud provider, starting in 2011 with its $3.2 billion buy of Savvis. It purchased PaaS vendor AppFog in June 2013 and Tier3, which offered IaaS and PaaS from its data centers, five months later.

[company]CenturyLink[/company] had already partnered with Edmonton, Alberta-based [company]DataGardens[/company] but now hopes to accelerate a product roadmap to bring cloud-based disaster recovery that works between public clouds as well as between public clouds and private OpenStack-based clouds, said Andrew Higginbotham, SVP of CenturyLink Cloud, in an interview.

CenturyLink Disaster Recovery as a Service

CenturyLink Disaster Recovery as a Service

DataGardens focused on public cloud technologies, and “we’re aiming to sync up with private OpenStack clouds as well,” said Higginbotham.

DataGardens offers integration with [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services and OpenStack clouds, although that capability is not yet generally available, the company said.

Clearly, disaster recovery is a key issue for enterprises — whether they deploy IT on-premises or in the cloud or any combination of both. But CenturyLink hopes to bring DataGardens technology to its small and medium business (SMB) customers as well, Higginbotham said.

The 15-person DataGardens team will remain in Edmonton and report to Jared Wray, the former CEO of Tier 3 who is now CTO of CenturyLink Cloud.

CenturyLink, with Tier3, has a well-regarded cloud portfolio but I wonder if the company, which is carrying a lot of debt — in excess of $21 billion for the most recent quarter — can sustain the spending needed to keep up with the AWSes and other cloud giants of the world. The company maintains it has a “very solid capital structure and generates strong cash flows” that support that outstanding debt.

Carbonite’s top job goes to HP veteran exec

It’s been quite the week for Mohamad Ali. HP’s former Chief Strategy Officer was named CEO of Carbonite on Thursday, the day after Carbonite received an unsolicited $366.4 million bid from J2 Global.

So, not only is he negotiating a move from the Palo Alto behemoth with some 280,000 or so employees to a Boston-based firm with about 500 people, he’s now in the thick of a not-so-friendly acquisition attempt.

Given his pedigree — Ali spent several years at [company]IBM[/company] working on acquisitions of companies like Ascential, Cognos and SPSS — and then HP so he’s no stranger to M&A. He and his PR person referred me to a company statement that its board will evaluate the J2 bid and offered no further comment.

But he did say part of Carbonite’s appeal was its potential to be a much bigger company. The company had about $102.7 million in revenue last year.

Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali.

Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali.

“I took this job because I thought this could be a huge company. I started building IBM’s analytics business and it was $8 billion when I left. [company]Carbonite[/company] has good cash on the balance sheet, we can use that to acquire things and grow. I’d love to see a billion dollar business in Massachusetts,” he said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

In his view, Carbonite which provides cloud-based backup and disaster-recovery services to small and medium businesses (SMBs), sits at the intersection of three huge opportunities — cloud, big data and SMBs. There are millions of these businesses in the U.S. and abroad that have real need for storage and data analytics but don’t have huge IT staffs.

These companies have real tech needs but “don’t want to own IT,” he said. Carbonite already serves many of them with its back-up and recovery service but he think it can do more for them using their data than it does now.

For example, Carbonite could analyze the email traffic of a doctor’s office an recommend when a follow-up mail, call or visit is warranted

While Ali said he envisions Carbonite as a larger independent company with a more global reach, his years at IBM and [company]HP[/company] cause some to wonder if Carbonite may end up with one of those two companies, both of which, after all, have shown a propensity for acquisitions especially in the cloud arena.

Note: This report was updated at 5:40 p.m. PST to correct the name of Carbonite’s suitor: It is J2 Global, not J2 Capital.

4 things on the Amazon cloud shopping list

Amazon Web Services offers lots of IT infrastructure options, even some application level services, but has gaps to fill in its platform. Here are some areas that targeted acquisitions could address.

Zerto raises $15M to keep clouds running

Zerto, an Israel-based startup focused on providing disaster recovery for virtualized and cloud resources, has closed a $15 million Series B funding round from U.S. Venture Partners, Battery Ventures and Greylock Partners. The company launched in June and has now raised $21 million overall.