February 24, 2012 – Dell announced a deal Friday to acquire AppAssure, a virtualization, data center and cloud infrastructure backup provider.

AppAssure provides unified solutions for data and application recovery from customer servers to their data center or cloud environment. In a news release on the deal, Dell touted AppAssure’s solutions as rounding out its own data center products and expanding its storage architecture, Fluid Data.

Brad Anderson, President of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group, said in a statement that the deal in part is based on addressing the growth in backup challenges for data volumes.

“At a practical level, AppAssure enables Dell customers to seamlessly move and replicate data across our existing platforms – from an EqualLogic array in a remote office to a Compellent array at a data recovery site,” said Anderson.

It is Dell’s eighth deal related to its storage portfolio, according to the Texas-based hardware and solutions provider, and its most notable since pitching $820 million for Compellent in December 2010. It’s also the first deal for Dell since forming its new software group earlier in February, which aims to provide more comprehensive IT solutions.

Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst at Aberdeen Group, says the move gives Dell elemental gains in dealing with cloud and data center protection, especially for SMBs that “don’t have the luxury of secondary sites.”

“Data backup is the ‘blocking and tackling’ of the IT department – one of the basics. For Dell to add these capabilities to their services portfolio makes great sense as it is an issue for all enterprise data centers,” said Csaplar.

AppAssure counts Xerox, Verizon, Dow and Lockheed Martin among its 6,000 customers. The provider has received a range of accolades from virtualization industry associations and publications in the last year, and recently reported that its 2011 revenue grew by 194 percent from 2010. Based in Reston, Virg., the provider was founded in 2006 by current CEO and former Symantec executive Naj Husain.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dell stated it plans to keep AppAssure’s approximately 230 employees and will continue investment in its engineering and sales capacities.

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