UPDATED 17:37 EDT / MAY 24 2021


Catalogic sells flagship business to IBM to focus on Kubernetes backup

Catalogic Software Inc. is selling off its flagship business to IBM Corp. to concentrate its resources on what it believes is a bigger opportunity in the cloud.

The company announced today that IBM will buy its ECX copy data management business for an unspecific amount. Catalogic will focus instead on CloudCasa, a cloud-native data protection service.

Spun off from Syncsort Inc. in 2013, Catalogic initially focused on software-defined copy management, which streamlines organizations’ storage use by reducing unneeded copies. ECX plugs into the native snapshotting capabilities of the storage system on which it’s installed and allows practitioners to create workflows for automating image management, thereby cutting down on administrative overhead.

The software is primarily used on-premises, which has made for a more challenging sales environment as action has moved to the cloud. The company has also seen growing competition from storage makers who offer copy data management as a free add-on.

“The market was training itself to deliver snapshots for free along with storage,” said Sathya Sankaran, Catalogic’s chief operating officer. “It got to the point that it became a tougher sell because the rest of the competition was offering it as a way to drive hardware offerings.”

It’s likely IBM will do the same, although Sankaran said he has no insight into Big Blue’s plans. “It’s very aligned to their storage offerings, which use snapshots and replicas,” he said. Through a long-term partnership between the two companies, he added, “IBM was already producing most of the revenue the product was generating. It was more a matter of when this was going to happen, not whether.”

About half of Catalogic’s employees will join IBM. The transaction frees Catalogic from a declining business and gives it some investment capital to plow into CloudCasa, which Sankaran described as “a cloud-native platform the backs up to the cloud and is built for cloud workloads.

“This basically makes us completely debt-free as a company,” he said. “It produces very strong working capital to give us multiple years of investment in CloudCasa.”

The as-a-service offering will be focused on DevOps teams working with Kubernetes, the orchestrator for the software-defined environments called containers, which in turn enable applications to be run unchanged in multiple computing environment. Catalogic also plans to add security health check services, “which is available in a lot of mature backup products but not products focused on Kubernetes,” Sankaran said.

Image: Catalogic

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