2006: A year of acquisitions

By Ann Silverthorn

January 3, 2007—The storage-related acquisitions inked in 2006 have affected users' purchase options and strengthened some vendors against their competitors. Here is a quick re-cap of acquisition activity in 2006:

With a dozen acquisitions in 2006, EMC was the most active acquirer and kicked off its spree last year with the purchase of Acxiom's information and grid software for $30 million. Acxiom had originally developed the software for its own business operations, which include hosted data hygiene, cleansing, and manipulation services. For the next two years, EMC will be working to combine Acxiom's intellectual property with its own systems and software to develop a new platform, which will be jointly marketed and sold by the two companies.

Just a few days later, EMC acquired Internosis, a managed IT service provider for Microsoft application environments. The new service is known as EMC Microsoft Practice, which is part of the EMC Technology Solutions Group. The deal fits into a number of EMC's information management solutions, which range from specific document management applications to wider-ranging compliance and information lifecycle management (ILM) offerings, according to Charles King, senior analyst, application infrastructure, at the PUND-IT consulting firm. "Internosis' popularity among government clients [about half of the company's customers are federal agencies] bodes well for EMC's burgeoning public sector solutions."

In May, EMC purchased data-replication software vendor Kashya for approximately $153 million. Kashya's continuous data protection (CDP) technology has been integrated with EMC's RecoverPoint software. EMC saw a fit between its Invista network-based storage virtualization product and Kashya's disaster-recovery and replication technology.

EMC also acquired RSA Security for approximately $2.1 billion. EMC is integrating RSA's identity management, encryption, and key-management products into its storage hardware and software products. EMC expects the RSA acquisition to help it grow its security business to $1 billion.

De-duplication vendor, Avamar, was scooped up by EMC for $165 million. Avamar's Axion and Replicator products now make up the EMC Avamar software line. Axion de-duplicates data before it is transferred across the network and Replicator provides encrypted asynchronous replication of data.

Hewlett-Packard inked a deal in February to acquire database-archiving specialist OuterBay Technologies to strengthen its ILM portfolio and bolster the capabilities of its Reference Information Storage System (RISS), a content-addressed storage (CAS) platform. HP had already been reselling OuterBay's Application Data Management Suite. For example, HP's StorageWorks Reference Information Manager (RIM) for Databases uses OuterBay's software and ILM policies to archive Oracle and SAP databases.

In February, QLogic announced its intention to acquire PathScale and its InfiniBand technology for approximately $109 million. PathScale's flagship product, the InfiniPath InfiniBand host channel adapter (HCA), is now offered by QLogic. In October, QLogic announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase SilverStorm Technologies, another InfiniBand company.

Seagate Technology announced in February that it would buy rival Maxtor in an all-stock transaction worth approximately $1.9 billion. The combined company competes primarily with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Western Digital.

Microsoft announced in March that it had acquired iSCSI target software from String Bean Software. String Bean's WinTarget software, designed for Windows, is now a feature pack of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2.

Also in March, Brocade decided to break out of its switch-and-director identity by acquiring NuView, a developer of enterprise file management software. NuView's StorageX flagship product has been integrated with Brocade's Tapestry infrastructure for automated data management and aggregation of distributed file data across heterogeneous environments.

In May, Quantum announced its plans to acquire rival tape drive and library vendor ADIC for about $770 million to broaden its tape hardware and software portfolio. The combined technologies from both companies formed an integrated software layer that is part of the DXi series of disk-based backup-and-replication appliances, which feature data de-duplication.

Fibre Channel specialist Emulex completed its acquisition of Aarohi Communications in May for approximately $39 million. Aarohi was a maker of storage processors, network adapters, and software. Its processor engines attracted Emulex as it further developed its storage virtualization products for switching platforms and SAN appliances.

Packeteer agreed to acquire Tacit Networks in May for approximately $78 million. The purchase was a market expansion opportunity for Packeteer, adding branch-office server consolidation to its WAN optimization offerings.

Also in May, Expand Networks signed an agreement to acquire privately held wide-area file services (WAFS) vendor DiskSites. DiskSites' technology had already been integrated with the Expand Compass Platform through an August 2005 OEM agreement. Expand Compass is a WAN application acceleration platform that integrates multiple technologies and maps them to the corresponding business mandates.

CA announced its acquisition of data-protection vendor XOsoft in July to round out its line of backup-and-restore products. XOsoft was known primarily for its replication, high availability, and CDP software.

In July, Opsware, a server and networking automation software maker, signed a deal to acquire Creekpath Systems and its storage resource management (SRM) software for $10 million. Opsware plans to use Creekpath's technology in the Opsware Storage Automation System, which is due in the first half of this year.

In August, Brocade announced its plans to buy McData, but that deal has not yet closed due to questions from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding antitrust issues. When the deal becomes final, Brocade will have paid approximately $713 million for McData, whose shareholders will own about 30% of the new company.

Also in August, Tandberg Data announced that it had signed an agreement with data storage company Exabyte. In EMEA and APAC, the combined company will trade under the Tandberg Data name. In the Americas, Tandberg Data Corporatation will use the Exabyte brand for some of its products and will continue to sell the full range of Exabyte and Tandberg products.

In October, IBM finalized its acquisition of FileNet, an enterprise content management (ECM) vendor, for approximately $1.6 billion. IBM will combine FileNet's operations with its own content management business to develop new ECM products and services. The FileNet P8 platform, a unified ECM and business process management (BPM) platform, will be combined with IBM's BPM and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) technologies.

Network Appliance scooped up Topio in November for approximately $160 million. The Topio Data Protection Suite is now offered by NetApp as TDPS. The software enables enterprises to replicate data from any vendor's disk arrays—including those from EMC, Hewlett-Packard, and Hitachi Data Systems—to any NetApp storage system.

In December, LSI Logic completed its acquisition of StoreAge Networking Technologies in a deal valued at approximately $50 million in cash. LSI Logic will offer StoreAge's virtualization and copy services software to OEMs of its Engenio Storage Group Division, which includes vendors such as IBM, Sun, and SGI. LSI is also expected to continue StoreAge's existing distribution strategies, which include OEM deals with McData and QLogic, reseller deals with CA, and other VAR relationships. LSI does not plan to sell the software directly to end users.

Finally, in late December, Seagate announced its intentions to buy privately held online backup-and-recovery services company EVault for approximately $185 million. EVault will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate and will serve as the cornerstone of a new division dubbed Seagate Storage Services. The deal is expected to close in Q2 of 2007.

This article was originally published on January 03, 2007