Seagate has said it will buy EVault for $185 million.

EVault provides online network backup, recovery and data protection products for small-to-medium size businesses. It is a privately-held company founded in 1997 with 250 employees and 8,500 customers in financial, heath care and legal organisations. Seagate said the market segment comprises 74 million businesses and represents a multi-billion dollar growth area.

It specialises in on-site and in-lab data recovery for corrupted or inaccessible storage devices and often serves SMBs with limited infrastructure. Over the last three years, Seagate has tried to expand its customer base from its core disc-drive business into managed services.

EVault is Seagate's third acquisition in the managed services field. Last year, it bought Mirra, a maker of hardware and software that lets PC users back up their data and access it from any PC connected to the Internet. And in 2005, Seagate scooped up ActionFront Data Recovery Labs, an in-lab data recovery company.

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