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With Avere Systems, Microsoft Acquires Hybrid Storage Tech

Microsoft is kicking off its year in acquisitions with a Pittsburgh-based provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions.

Microsoft didn't say what it will pay for Avere Systems, but that 10-year-old company has raised $97 million over several funding rounds, including a $14 million Series E round last March that included Google Inc. as a new investor.

Other investors include Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital and Western Digital Capital.

In a Wednesday statement announcing the acquisition agreement, Microsoft Azure Corporate Vice President Jason Zander described Avere as "a leading provider of high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients running in cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments."

"Avere uses an innovative combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads," said Zander, noting the company's customer footprint in media and entertainment, life sciences, education, oil and gas, financial services and manufacturing.

The company's products include the FXT series of filer appliances and vFXT virtual filers for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform, along with its NAS-oriented Avere OS and other add-ons.

While Avere has worked closely with AWS and taken financing from Google, the Microsoft deal brings the technology into the Azure orbit. "We are excited to welcome Avere to Microsoft, and look forward to the impact their technology and the team will have on Azure and the customer experience," Zander said.

Ron Bianchini, president and CEO of Avere, also emphasized the new Azure integration in a blog post about the deal.

"Avere and Microsoft both recognize that there are many ways for [enterprises] to leverage data center resources and the cloud. 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," Bianchini said.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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