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Microsoft is kicking off 2018 with a bang — if Azure and high-performance storage excite you, that is. The company has announced its intent to acquire Avere Systems, a company behind solutions that low-latency data access in the cloud.

From Microsoft:

Avere uses an innovative combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads. In the media and entertainment industry, Avere has worked with global brands including Sony Pictures Imageworks, animation studio Illumination Mac Guff and Moving Picture Company (MPC) to decrease production time and lower costs in a world where innovation and time to market is more critical than ever.

The end goal of the acquisition will be to marry Avere's storage solutions with Microsoft's Azure services. In a blog post, Avere president and CEO Ronald Bianchini states:

Our shared vision is to continue our focus on all of Avere's use cases - in the datacenter, in the cloud and in hybrid cloud storage and cloud bursting environments. Tighter integration with Azure will result in a much more seamless experience for our customers.

Microsoft says it has signed an agreement to acquire Avere, so the deal isn't yet complete. Likewise, the monetary value of the deal has not yet been disclosed. This follows a series of recent acquisitions mean to bolster Azure as the cloud becomes an increasingly more important part of Microsoft's business.

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