Hard drive maker Seagate Technology will buy EVault for US$185 million in an acquisition designed to bolster Seagate\u2019s managed services business, the company said on Thursday.EVault, based in Emeryville, Calif., provides online network backup, recovery and data-protection products for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). Seagate said the market segment comprises 74 million businesses and represents a multibillion-dollar growth area.EVault is a privately held company founded in 1997 and has 250 employees and 8,500 customers in financial, heath-care and legal organizations.The company specializes in on-site and in-lab data recovery for corrupted or inaccessible storage devices and often serves SMBs with limited infrastructure. Seagate has sought over the past three years to expand its customer base from its core disc-drive business into managed services. Seagate Services focuses on backup, recovery and archiving for SMBs.EVault is Seagate\u2019s third acquisition in the managed services field. Last year, Seagate 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. Also in 2005, Seagate scooped up ActionFront Data Recovery Labs, an in-lab data recovery company. Seagate said it expects the EVault deal to close by April, its third fiscal quarter for 2007.-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)Related Links:\n\nSeagate Tries Encrypted Drive One More Time\n\nSix Sigma Comes to IT (CIO magazine content)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.