Why Acquiring InMage Made Sense for Microsoft

A Microsoft exec sheds light on the rationale behind the acquisition of cloud data protection specialist InMage. VMware played an indirect role in the decision.

Microsoft InMage acquisition

Microsoft announced on July 11 that it had acquired cloud data protection specialist InMage for an unspecified amount.

"Microsoft is now working to integrate the InMage Scout technology into Azure Site Recovery service, in order to give customers a simple, cost-effective way to ensure business continuity with the power and scale of the Azure global cloud," a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK at the time.

Now, Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Cloud and Enterprise for Microsoft, is shedding more light on why the tech giant snapped up the San Jose, Calif.-based software company.

Anderson recounted in a blog post how VMware played a role, albeit indirectly.

"A huge number of the requests we get about supporting VMware environments is tied to a broader (and always growing) need to make it simpler to migrate to Azure or a Microsoft private/hosted cloud," he wrote. "It is no exaggeration to say that there are a lot of customers doing this right now."

After having seen a demo of InMage's disaster-recovery (DR) tech a few months ago, Anderson reported that he walked away "impressed." He remembered being struck by being able to "see the exact number of minutes/seconds that the replica is behind the primary" in the service's administration panel.

What's more, InMage tech can pull double duty as a data protection solution and as a way to transfer VMware workloads to Hyper-V, Microsoft's virtualization platform.

Anderson said he was particularly drawn to "how the technology operated when you set up a DR relationship between a VMware and a Microsoft cloud. Here, the underlying technology actually provided both a DR solution from VMware to a Microsoft Cloud, and it also did a migration."

His observation echoed some of the reasons Microsoft decided to acquire InMage. In a statement, the company said the buy would advance its "strategy to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment, be it Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others."

Those capabilities dovetailed nicely with customer demand "for a DR solution that was simpler to set up and use than what VMware offered with Site Recovery Manager (SRM)," said Anderson. "We also had a lot of customer requests for simplified migration tools that would enable migration from VMware to Microsoft clouds."

Helping businesses manage their backup and weather mishaps that place their data at risk has become a priority for Microsoft, of late.

Last month, the company rolled a preview of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to Azure, an all-cloud disaster recovery service. The service lets organizations failover virtual machines directly to Microsoft's cloud, allowing them to keep applications up and running without investing in a backup data center. As a bonus, ASR provides a handy platform for spinning up development and test environments quickly, according to the company.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...