IBM Acquires Advanced Data Compression Technology Developer

IBM will acquire Storwize, a developer of real-time data compression technology, under a deal IBM disclosed late Thursday.

IBM did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition, which it expects to close by the end of the third quarter. Storwize is a privately held company based in Marlborough, Mass.

Most data compression technology available today is used to compress secondary or backup data. But as the volume of data generated by businesses skyrockets there is a growing need to compress primary data as quickly as it’s generated. Demand for enterprise storage capacity is growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 43 percent, according to market researcher IDC.

Storwize’s Random Access Compression Engine (RACE) technology compresses primary data; such as files, databases and virtualization images, in real time even as the data is in active use without affecting performance, according to IBM. RACE allows businesses to reduce their physical storage requirements by up to 80 percent, IBM said.

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Storwize’s technology works with network attached storage systems from IBM and other vendors such as EMC, NetApp and Hewlett-Packard, as well as IBM’s Scaled-Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) systems.

Storwize has more than 100 customers including Shopzilla and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction. The company’s technology is used by businesses in such industries as energy, manufacturing, finance, insurance, telecommunications and cloud services.