HP can't afford to buy every one of our Desirable Dozen, but in the post-Mark Hurd era, the world's largest computer maker needs to consider acquiring more than a few of these companies. Here's who -- and why.
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HP is a data center management software company, growing out of its OpenView platform. To improve that position, it should be working with the dominant vendor on the high end, VMware, and providing tools that broaden or expand what VMware can do. Many are being invented. HP could assemble a winning collection, like Akorri, Vizioncore, and John Thompson's new firm, Virtual Instruments. See also Embotics, Xangati, VKernel, and ManageEngine.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.