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HP Sharpens Its Blades

The purchase lets HP tie network-attached storage to its fast-growing blade server business.
Hewlett-Packard is staying on a steady acquisition pace with plans to buy storage virtualization software maker PolyServe. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, could give HP the technology it needs to boost its sluggish storage business by tying it to the fast-growing blade server business.

The acquisition will let HP offer customers better technology for consolidating file servers and databases, and will let HP extend network-attached storage onto blade servers, which take up less space in data centers and can be easier to manage than other server hardware. HP, whose storage sales grew 3% last year, introduced its first blade storage servers in October and says blades are the fastest-growing storage segment.

IBM led the worldwide blade server market last year, followed by HP, according to Gartner. The PolyServe deal puts pressure on IBM in both data virtualization and blade servers. Other top storage vendors, including Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems, and EMC, also sell storage virtualization.

PolyServe offers one of the few storage virtualization technologies available for the most popular enterprise databases, including Microsoft's SQL Server, Oracle, and the open source databases MySQL and PostgreSQL.