Acquisition Boosts Cloud-Computing Capabilities Of IBM Servers


IBM is acquiring Blade Network Technologies, a developer of data center switching technology, in a move the company said will help it optimize IBM servers for cloud computing, business intelligence and other workload-intensive tasks.

IBM did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition, which it expects to complete by the end of the calendar year. Privately held Blade Network Technologies (BNT) is based in Santa Clara, Calif.

BNT develops hardware and software that route data and transactions to and from servers. The company's products include blade server and top-of-rack switches, and software that helps IT operations virtualize and manage cloud computing applications.

The BNT technology provides a way to integrate servers more tightly with a network, allowing businesses to deploy thousands of virtual machines to run large-scale application workloads in the cloud and reduce complexity through simplified management, according to IBM.

"Blade will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimizing them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics," said Brian Truskowski, general manager, IBM System Storage and Networking, in a statement. The BNT acquisition "will increase IBM's system networking development, sales, support, skills and awareness and help IBM build smarter systems that are optimized for client requirements."

There has been speculation lately that IBM might acquire Ethernet switching equipment vendor Brocade Communications Systems. But a report issued Monday by Stifel Nicolaus, a financial research firm, said the BNT acquisition makes an IBM deal for Brocade less likely.

IBM has been on an acquisition tear this year: The BNT deal is IBM's 15th acquisition this year, including the $1.7 billion buyout of data warehouse appliance vendor Netezza just last week. At this pace the company could exceed the $20 billion CEO Sam Palmisano told investors in May that IBM would spend on acquisitions during the next five years.