IBM plans to buy Blade Network Technologies, a privately-held company that specializes in data centre switches, as large technology vendors compete to offer broader and more advanced technologies for corporate data centres.
International Business Machines Corp did not disclose the price of the deal, which follows the company’s announcement a week earlier that it was offering $1.7 billion for data analytics company Netezza Corp.
Monday’s announcement comes as IBM and rivals like Hewlett-Packard Co, Oracle Corp, and Cisco Systems Inc are developing or acquiring new technologies in response to clients’ demands for better and cheaper ways to manage their data centres.
While IBM has long competed with HP and Oracle, its rivalry with network equipment maker Cisco is relatively new. Cisco’s recent entry into servers has prompted HP and IBM to retaliate by buying or forming close partnerships with networking firms.
Blade, spun off from Nortel Networks in 2006, sells networking devices and software that route data to and from servers in the data centre. It has been an IBM sales partner since 2002, and they already have thousands of joint clients, IBM said.
IBM said in May that it planned to spend about $20 billion in acquisitions through 2015. Its shares were up 26 cents, around 0.2 percent, at $134.41 in early trade.