IBM’s shopping spree in the storage sector is far from over as Thursday’s announced acquisition of Texas Memory Systems clearly indicates.
IBM announced the purchase of closely held Texas Memory, a designer of flash memory without disclosing terms. The goal is to provide a more complete storage system than competitors by assembling the components through purchases of smaller companies, said Bob Cancilla, vice president for storage systems at Big Blue.
“It’s not the end of our acquisition phase,” Cancilla told Bloomberg newsz. “We’ve been on an acquisition phase for the past four or five years, and this was one of the missing pieces.”
Solid state memory relies on Flash or RAM memory as opposed to hard disk drives with multiple moving parts and is a growing factor in the storage space market. Products include rackmount system hardware and memory cards.
Another term is solid state drives (SSDs), and the technology is gaining information, InformationWeek noted. But there is a big drawback at this point – price.
“SSDs are faster and more reliable than hard drives, but adoption has been slowed by high prices,” InformationWeek reported. “Businesses gradually have been finding it easier to clear this once-imposing hurdle, however. Just this week, flash vendors Skyera, Tegile Systems, and SanDisk unveiled aggressively priced new products that should make SSDs more accessible for a number of enterprise uses.”
Such “products are designed to help companies improve performance and reduce server sprawl, power consumption, cooling, and floor space requirements, all of which in turn can help clients save money, improve performance and invest more in innovation,” IBM says.
IBM tends to assemble its technology by buying companies that lack a strong sales force or all the parts a client would need, said Mark Moskowitz, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in San Francisco, in a note to investors. Houston-based Texas Memory, which specializes in little beyond fast data performance, was a “classic” deal, he said.
Texas Memory’s technology will go into IBM products sold to customers who are managing data centers or analyzing large amounts of data, Moskowitz said.
With the acquisition, IBM can begin producing an “all- flash array” storage system, which doesn’t use hard disk drives, allowing faster performance with lower power consumption.
“We have a much more comprehensive solution now, and we’re not done yet,” said Cancilla, who declined to provide details of IBM’s acquisition plans for competitive reasons. “There’s clearly a fundamental change occurring in the data center.”
IBM shares rose 1.2 percent to $200.84 yesterday. The shares have gained 9.2 percent this year.
IBM employs some 10,000 people across North Carolina.
(Bloomberg news contributed to this report.)
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