EMC Acquiring Systems-Management Vendor Smarts For $260 Million

Storage leader continues its strategy to use acquisitions to diversify beyond storage gear, this time eyeing the convergence of LANs, WANs, and storage networks.



A week after the megadeal between Symantec Corp. and Veritas Software Corp., EMC Corp. on Tuesday sent a reminder that it wants a bigger part of the management software market. It plans to acquire Smarts Inc., an event-automation and real-time network systems-management vendor, for approximately $260 million in cash.

EMC is continuing its strategy to expand beyond the storage-system market, and Smarts would combine with Legato's data backup and Documentum's content management, both of which also arrived via acquisition, to make up most of a new software business at the storage leader. The buyer hopes to take Smarts advanced management and real-time analysis to optimize management of the convergence between LANs, WANs, and storage networks.

Smarts lets administrators use modeling and correlation technology to dig deep into behaviors and characteristics among components and software on a network. Its InCharge products help pinpoint root-cause problems, calculate their impact, and suggest an action plan for keeping a company up and running.

The two vendors hope the deal will be complete during next quarter.

An industry analyst thinks Smarts could greatly help EMC if the software helps customers make sense of multiple alerts going off from disparate management products. Nancy Marrone, an analyst at IT market-research firm the Enterprise Strategy Group, says, "This could save amazing amounts of time if customers don't have to drill down and troubleshoot network problems."

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