Hyperconverged secondary storage company Cohesity has acquired Imanis Data, makers of NoSQL data protection software, for an undisclosed sum. It is Cohesity’s first acquisition.
“This acquisition makes Cohesity the first to offer enterprise class backups for a complete range of workloads, including NoSQL as well as containerised workloads,” said Mohit Aron, Founder and CEO of Cohesity. He noted a surge of interest in NoSQL databases after MongoDB went public in 2017.
“We’ll keep the Imanis Data brand, but there’ll be tighter integration with the Cohesity platform,” said Aron. Imanis Data won’t be receiving special treatment, however, and will continue to use the same APIs that are available to all Cohesity partners. “Imanis will have an incentive to more fully use the platform APIs now that we’ve acquired them,” said Aron.
The seeds of the acquisition were sown by Imanis and Cohesity sharing multiple customers, and Imanis Data was one of the first to provide an app in Cohesity’s new marketplace offering, which launched earlier this year.
“As the platform owner, we’d like to build a few apps to showcase what the platform can do, but we don’t intend to compete with our partners,” said Aron. “We curate the app ecosystem to check that apps aren’t malicious, but we don’t want to play favorites.”
“We could get great at one app, maybe two, but we can’t be great at all of them,” Aron continued. “Let the best app vendor win.”
Some capabilities from Imanis Data will likely be merged with core Cohesity features where there is substantial overlap, such as the Imanis Data SmartPolicy scheduling function, and the ThreatSense feature for detecting malware and ransomware.
I wrote about Imanis Data just a few months ago and noted at the time they were a hot acquisition target. It’s a solid enhancement to the Cohesity offering that extends into an important class of data, and I can’t say I’m surprised that Cohesity is the buyer. NoSQL and container data is not well addressed by many heritage data protection offerings, and it extends Cohesity’s relevance into more areas of forward-looking enterprises.
The app marketplace concept (Aron is fond of using a smartphone analogy to describe it) provides an interesting incentive for app developers now that Cohesity has demonstrated a willingness to acquire companies that enhance its core functionality and extend Cohesity’s reach into valuable adjacent markets. Beyond the ability to make money serving a growing ecosystem of Cohesity customers, the potential for being acquired by the platform owner adds additional incentives to prefer one platform over another.
We’ve seen this scenario play out not just in smartphones but also with cloud providers. Many vendors like to claim they are a platform, but it’s the ability to build valuable businesses on top of a system that defines whether or not it truly is a platform.
It’s still early days for Cohesity but the claim of being a platform is more credible than many of those I see day to day.
This article first appeared in Forbes.com here.