EMC has bought Indigo Stone, a UK firm specialising in bare metal recovery and migration of Windows and Linux servers.

Indigo Stone's HomeBase products provides hardware-independent recovery and migration of Windows and Unix/Linux servers. The acquisition took place in March but there has been no announcement about it from either privately-held Indigo Stone or EMC.

Indigo Stone’s technology is based on a small Server Agent, loaded on each server which runs on a scheduled basis (normally just prior to a backup or replication of the data set) and captures all elements of the server stack from internal and peripheral hardware, through OS settings, to application and storage configuration settings creating a very small, encrypted profile or image down to the bare metal. The profiles are stored on a separate system and used to recover failed servers or migrate them to different hardware.

Indigo Stone has an existing partnership deal with Avamar to store an entire system image (for bare metal recovery) on an Avamar de-duped disk in a fraction of the space needed by the original data. EMC has since bought Avamar.

EMC spokesman Todd Cadley said: "Indigo Stone will immediately strengthen EMC's backup and recovery portfolio by allowing customers to reduce the time it takes to recover and migrate server configurations even to dissimilar server hardware."

Up until now EMC hasn't had a bare metal recovery while competitor Symantec has.

Cadley said: "Indigo Stone is complimentary today to Avamar, NetWorker and VMware. HomeBase - the product from Indigo Stone - provides profiling and protection for server system state, while Avamar and NetWorker provide protection for user and application data. In VMware environments, Indigo Stone provides server recovery from physical to virtual and from virtual to physical."

This is good for virtual server, and also blade server, recovery where there would be tens, hundreds even, of complete (to the bare metal or virtual metal) system images on disk for recovery. Networker uses Indigo Stone technology to create the images. Avamar then shrinks them.

Regarding EMC's intentions, Cadley said: "Plans are now being developed for direct integration of Indigo Stone into NetWorker, Avamar and other recovery management products. For now, we are not providing any specific dates/timelines - but stay tuned for more.'