RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Shares in data storage technology firm (NYSE: EMC), which has a large and growing presence in the Triangle, climbed nearly 3 percent in morning trading Wednesday after its stock was upgraded by an analyst at Oppenheimer.

The combination of news lifted EMC shares by 95 cents, or 5 percent, in trading Wednesday. EMC finished the day at $19.11.

The lifting of EMC to “outperform” from “perform” came Tuesday before EMC announced it was acquiring California-based Greenplum in a move seen as a counter to Oracle.

Oracle’s purchase of Sun put it in the data hardware business. EMC’s deal for Greenplum strengthens it in the data warehousing and analytics space.

Bill Cook, the top executive at Greenplum, was an executive at Sun for 19 years. Sun co-founder Scott McNealy is an advisor to Greenplum, the news service Reuters noted.

Financial details were not disclosed.

"It’s another way to grow their available market," Wedbush Securities analyst Kaushik Roy said, according to Reuters. "Data warehousing is a rapidly growing market. They are probably doing the right thing."

Greenplum focuses on cloud computing and self-service analytics with what EMC calls “disruptive data warehousing technology.”

“Upon completion of the acquisition, Greenplum will form the foundation of a new data computing product division within EMC’s Information Infrastructure business,” EMC said in the announcement.

EMC has both manufacturing and research-and-development operations in the Triangle.

Greenplum’s technology will help EMC provide new architecture and tools to deal with the ever-increasing amounts of data generated by consumers and corporations. Greenplum is noted for its analytical processing capabilities that deliver “10 to 100 times the performance of traditional database software at a dramatically lower cost,” EMC said.

Greenplum customers include NASDAQ, T-Mobile, Skype, NYSE Euronext and Fox Interactive Media.

"The data warehousing world is about to change,” said EMC Chief Operating Officer Pat Gelsinger. “Greenplum’s massively-parallel, scale-out architecture, along with its self-service consumption model, has enabled it to separate itself from the incumbent players and emerge as the leader in this industry shift toward ‘big data’ analytics. Greenplum’s market-leading technology combined with EMC’s virtualized Private Cloud infrastructure provides customers, today, with a best-of-breed solution for tomorrow’s ‘big-data’ challenges."

Baird analyst Jason Noland said he does not expect the deal to have a "material impact" on EMC. He added he thinks EMC is in a good position to take advantage of improving demand environment.

(For the announcement details, )

At Oppenheimer, meanwhile, Ittai Kidron he thinks EMC’s broad product portfolio and scale will help it deliver "solid growth" and better withstand another potential economic slowdown.

"Storage remains a top (technology) spending priority, and we believe EMC is well positioned in this area," Kidron wrote in a note to investors Tuesday. He set a target price of $22.

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