IBM Buys Storage Provider Cleversafe

Big Blue today announced plans to buy Cleversafe, a provider of object-based data storage appliances and services based in Chicago. IBM said its purchase of the 11-year-old Cleversafe will strengthen its storage and hybrid cloud offerings.

"Today a massive digital transformation is underway as organizations increasingly turn to cloud computing for innovative ways to manage more complex business operations and increasing volumes of data in a secure and effective way," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud, in a statement. Cleversafe, a pioneer in object storage, will add to our efforts to help clients overcome these challenges by extending and strengthening our cloud storage strategy, as well as our portfolio." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, privately-owned Cleversafe has more than 350 patents in object-based, on-premise storage solutions that enable clients to scale up to exabytes of storage. Among its services are large-scale content repository, backup, archive, collaboration and storage as a service. Cleversafe has said that it foresaw the coming data revolution and redesigned data storage to deal with it.

Heavily Funded

In addition to IBM, Cleversafe has partnered with companies including Lockheed Martin, Hewlett-Packard, Ericsson and Symantec. Cleversafe also handles huge amounts of data on behalf of clients such as Shutterfly for photo storage and Sky for media storage. Other clients include the University of Chicago, UK-based Solid State Solutions and Hightail.

Cleversafe founder Chris Gladwin began his career at Martin Marietta in 1986 before going to Zenith Data Systems, where he created the first workgroup storage server. He founded Cruise Technologies and MusicNow in the late 1990s. CEO John Morris spent more than 23 years at IBM as a general manager before leaving in 2005. He joined Cleversafe in 2010. Cleversafe has about 210 employees and has raised more than $100 million in investor funding...

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