IBM Looks To Acquire NetApp, Others: Report

NetApp, which has also been rumored to be on several large IT companies' short list of potential acquisition, including Oracle's and Cisco's, would strengthen IBM's standing in the cloud storage business, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Such an acquisition would mean more than cloud storage for IBM. IBM currently sells NetApp's storage solutions under an OEM deal stretching back to 2005. An acquisition of NetApp would give IBM a full line of unified SAN-NAS solutions, a recent clustered storage infrastructure, and an increasing presence in the flash storage market.

[Related: IBM Extends SmartCloud With New Enterprise Services ]

Such an acquisition could also disrupt the tight relationship between NetApp and Cisco, the latter of which competes with IBM in the server and networking markets.

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In addition to NetApp, Bloomberg also reported on other potential acquisition targets it said are on IBM's list. They include big data analytic software developer Splunk and business security solution developer Imperva.

Bloomberg reported that IBM is looking at such acquisitions as a way to restart its sales growth, which amounted to a meager 0.8 percent in four years.

Splunk did not respond to requests for more information. Spokespeople from IBM, NetApp and Imperva declined to comment on the report.