HP to acquire Ibrix for scale-out NAS

By Kevin Komiega

-- Hewlett-Packard today announced it has inked a deal to buy scale-out NAS vendor Ibrix for an undisclosed sum as the company moves to strengthen its file serving software for scale-out, cloud, and high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

HP made a similar acquisition in 2007, when it acquired OEM partner and clustered file system vendor PolyServe. HP used the PolyServe technology to develop the HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100), a high-performance, high-capacity system built to house and serve file-level data.

Like PolyServe before it, Ibrix has been an HP partner for several years and its software is already available with a range of HP products, including StorageWorks SANs, ProLiant servers, BladeSystem, and ProCurve Ethernet switches and management software.

Ibrix's flagship product, Ibrix Fusion, is an enterprise-class file serving software suite that includes a scalable parallel file system with data protection and high availability features. 

The software can be used to build file systems capable of scaling in capacity up to tens of petabytes in a single global namespace and provide tens of gigabytes per second of bandwidth and millions of IOPs of aggregate performance. Capacity and performance can be scaled independently in an Ibrix cluster.

The acquisition of Ibrix immediately raises questions about product overlap with HP's existing product line based on PolyServe's technology. Jeff Hausman, vice president of unified storage within HP's StorageWorks division, says PolyServe and Ibrix can coexist in the HP portfolio.

"We are finding as we're going out to customers that the [Extreme Data Storage System] has been a great solution in certain areas, but customers have been asking us for better capabilities, not just on the capacity side, but also more performance balancing for that capacity," says Hausman. "As for PolyServe, we still expect there to be customer usage models where it will be very valuable to us like transactional databases, for example."

HP plans to formalize its product roadmaps once the deal is done. The company expects to finalize the acquisition within the next 30 days. Upon completion of the deal, the privately held, Billerica, Mass.-based Ibrix will become part of the StorageWorks division in HP's Technology Solutions Group.

Related articles:
Scale-out secondary storage gains traction
Lab Review: IBRIX Fusion - Simple Scalable File System
Lab Review: HP StorageWorks ExDS9100 - Extremely scalable, affordable, and easy to manage file storage

This article was originally published on July 17, 2009