IBM just inked a deal to buy Cleversafe, a specialist in the hybrid storage arena, meaning it mixes speedy flash drives and slower but less pricey disk drives to store data as appropriate.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move will bring 210 Cleversafe employees into the IBM fold.
Chicago-based Cleversafe focuses on object storage technology in which a document or an image is stored as a complete unit in and of itself, along with associated meta data. This contrasts with file storage, in which a given file is split into myriad pieces, each with its own address, when it is stored. The company claims customers including Shutterfly and Sky which use it to stockpile video, audio, and images efficiently.
In its statement announcing the news, IBM (ibm) cited IDC estimates that 80% of new cloud applications will be "big data intensive," meaning that they will require tons (or megabytes or petabytes) of storage space and that the object storage market will hit the $28 billion mark by 2018.
Once the deal closes, ostensibly later this year, IBM will integrate Cleversafe into its overall cloud business.
This is the latest in a string of cloudy acquisitions for Big Blue, which is moving fast to build up its cloud portfolio to better compete against rivals including Amazon (amzn) Web Services and more directly with Microsoft (msft) and others preaching the hybrid cloud religion. Other IBM acquisitions in cloud include SoftLayer, Cloudant, and Blue Box.
For more on IBM's cloud-and-data strategy, check out the video.
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