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7/17/2009
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HP Buys Cloud-Computing Vendor IBrix

HP already uses IBrix's file-serving software in its storage, servers, switches and management software.

Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy IBrix, a maker of file-serving software, to boost HP's infrastructure offerings to cloud-computing customers.

Founded in 2000, IBrix, in Billerica, Mass., has 53 employees and more than 175 corporate customers spanning the communications, media, entertainment, Internet, oil and gas, healthcare, life sciences and financial services industries. HP uses the company's technology in several products, including StorageWorks storage area networks, ProLiant servers, BladeSystems and ProCurve Ethernet switches and management software.

IBrix provides HP with another piece of technology to grab a slice of the growing cloud-computing market. The computing architecture provides dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources as a service over the Internet. Examples include Salesforce.com's software-as-a-service offering, and Amazon's infrastructure-as-a-service business.

Cloud computing involves massive scale-out of servers, which present challenges in software development, deployment, management, security and more. IBrix's key product Fusion includes a "highly scalable parallel file system with data protection, high availability features and a comprehensive management interface," according to IBrix. The technology can handle data-intensive application environments involving 10s of petabytes of data.

HP estimates that cloud computing presents a market with a compound annual growth rate of 20% per year. "This acquisition expands our portfolio to better support the needs of this market segment," Jeff Hausman, VP of unified storage at HP's StorageWorks Division, said in a statement.

HP did not disclose financial details. The deal is expected to be completed within 30 days. HP plans to integrate IBrix into the StorageWorks division of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

HP announced the agreement about a week after storage rival EMC agreed to buy Data Domain, a maker of technology that reduces the amount of duplicated data stored. EMC agreed to pay $2.4 billion for the deduplication specialist.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on IBM's cloud computing strategy. Download the report here (registration required).

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