Iron Mountain to Buy Backup Provider

Thursday Dec 1st 2005 by Clint Boulton
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The company agrees to purchase LiveVault, which stores PC and server data for small businesses.

Looking to make a name for something more than carting companies' data tapes around the country, Iron Mountain will pay $42 million to acquire backup specialist LiveVault.

LiveVault offers disk-based online server backup and recovery software as a service to shore up the data housed on PCs and servers in small and medium-sized companies. The Marlborough, Mass., company recently hired Monty Python veteran John Cleese to promote its wares.

The deal, expected to close any day now, comes as no surprise. Iron Mountain has been an investor in, and partner of, LiveVault since 2000 and currently owns nearly 14 percent of the company. Today's deal puts the total value of LiveVault at $50 million.

During that time, Boston-based Iron Mountain has served as LiveVault's largest sales channel and offered Server Electronic Vaulting services via a license agreement with the specialist.

In addition to the intellectual property and employee talent, Iron Mountain will be able to pad its customer base as LiveVault boasts more than 2,000 corporate customers, mostly SMBs.

It's also a nice complement to Iron Mountain's $117 million purchase of Connected Corp., a leader in backup and recovery solutions for PCs.

"This latest acquisition demonstrates Iron Mountain's continued commitment to solving the distributed data protection challenge," Iron Mountain said in a statement.

John Clancy, executive vice president of Iron Mountain's Digital business unit, called the deal a "natural move" for Iron Mountain at a time when demand for server backup and recovery has been ramping up.

While most backup providers will list natural disasters and equipment failures as reason enough to back up data, server and PC backup is also important considering the stringent record keeping regulations hounding corporations these days.

Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and SEC 17-a4 have kept businesses on their toes. Vendors like Iron Mountain, EMC, IBM, HP and a raft of others have been swooping in to help companies safeguard their data.

With such acquisitions, and software packages like Electronic Vaulting and Digital Archives, Iron Mountain is also looking to reinvent itself as a leader in digital data protection. The company has been carting around the physical storage cartridges of its customers for years.

But digital storage is increasingly becoming the way to go.

Iron Mountain came away with some egg on its edifice in April when it admitted to losing storage tapes on four occasions.

Iron Mountain did not name the customers it let down, but the admission comes on the heels of announcements from Bank of America and Ameritrade that the financial firms had lost backup tapes containing customer data.

Adapted from internetnews.com.

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