IBM Plans to Acquire Cleversafe to Propel Object Storage into the Hybrid Cloud

October 5, 2015 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cleversafe, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of object-based storage software and appliances. The acquisition will strengthen IBM’s leadership positions in storage and hybrid cloud and support clients’ drive to next generation mobile, social and analytics applications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Once the deal closes, IBM will integrate the Cleversafe portfolio into its IBM Cloud business unit to give clients strategic data flexibility, simplified management, and consistency with on-premise, cloud, and hybrid cloud deployment options.
As companies race to digitally transform their businesses they are faced with several unique challenges, including the rapid growth of unstructured data (images, audio, and video) and finding the proper balance between on-premise and cloud storage deployments. The emergence of new storage technologies, such as object storage delivered through Cleversafe, allows companies to store and manage massive amounts of data more efficiently while meeting the demands of data-intensive workloads delivered via the cloud. IDC estimates that 80 percent of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data intensive.

“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. “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.”

Founded in 2004, Cleversafe is a privately held company based in Chicago and a recognized market leader[1] with more than 350 patents in object-based, on-premise storage solutions that enable clients to scale to exabytes of storage, or billions of gigabytes. Clients across multiple industries use Cleversafe for large-scale content repository, backup, archive, collaboration and storage as a service.

“IBM is an innovator and leader in cloud and storage and we’re excited about the opportunities that lay ahead once this transaction closes,” said John Morris, President and CEO of Cleversafe. “Together with IBM we can extend our object storage leadership position to address the broadest set of workloads for clients with the most expansive set of object-based solutions.”

Cleversafe’s Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet®) solutions enhance on-premise storage options for clients and service providers with low-cost, large scale active archives and unstructured data content stores. The solutions complement IBM’s software definedSpectrum Storage portfolio for data protection and backup, tape archive, as well as a high performance file and object solution where the focus is on response time.

The dsNet solutions and technologies will be integrated into the IBM Cloud to enhance IBM’s Infrastructure as a Service, SoftLayerand the SoftLayer Object Storage services platform, providing clients a hybrid cloud deployment model that offers greater choice of geography, performance, cost optimization and flexibility.

Following close of the deal, clients will be able to use SoftLayer cloud services and IBM Bluemix, IBM’s Platform-as-a-Service, to create dynamic and innovative applications with the Cleversafe technology as a foundational content repository and data archive.
The planned acquisition underscores IBM’s continued commitment to data storage innovation including investments across Flash, Software Defined Storage and Cloud Storage environments over the last five years alone. IBM continues to offer one of the most comprehensive storage portfolios in the industry, created through both acquisitions and innovations from IBM Research and Development.

Cleversafe employs approximately 210 people. The deal is expected to close later this year following customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances.