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EMC Buys Prisa Networks

High-end storage vendor continues to expand its reach in market.

EMC Corp. is continuing to try to distance itself from its overpriced, proprietary past. It acquired Prisa Networks Inc. on Wednesday for about $20 million in cash; the purchase marks the eighth software-vendor acquisition by EMC in the past three years, a span of time that coincides with when the high-end storage vendor's hardware gross margins began dropping.

Most interesting about the acquisition is the small software vendor's market. Prisa provides storage-area network (SAN) management software primarily to Windows shops, a market that would ordinarily have little use for or interest in EMC's flagship Symmetrix storage system.

Industry analyst Nancy Marrone thinks Prisa wasn't going to survive against competition that includes BMC Software, EMC, and Veritas Software, adding that the deal "gives EMC more credibility as an open, heterogeneous storage-management software player."

There's instant synergy to the deal, besides saving Prisa and giving EMC much-needed access to the low end of the market. Dell Computer is an original equipment partner with Prisa and an important distribution partner with EMC, which says it will rebrand Prisa's software and expand the market for it. As for technology, acquiring Prisa will give EMC the ability to discover, monitor performance, and isolate problems on a SAN.

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