IBM snaps up Blade Networks

IBM has bought data center switching firm Blade Networks for a reported $400 million (€298 million), in a move to bring equipment it is already using in-house.
 
The computer firm said it has been working with Blade since 2002, and has deployed its technology in more than half of its System x BladeCenters.
 
It will pay around $400 million for the firm, Barrons reported.
 
Blade, founded as a unit of Nortel and spun off in 2006, raised $230 million in second-round funding last September from Juniper, NEC and others, Barrons said.
 
Analysts said the deal was probably intended to put IBM on-par with Cisco in terms of offering unified computing solutions, and was not aimed at its OEM partnership with Juniper.
 
Juniper is also an investor in this deal and said in a statement that the acquisition “will enable us to collaborate more closely” with IBM.
 
Announcing the deal, IBM said Blade's “industry-tested switches and software are designed to improve systems performance for faster delivery of information, optimize virtual environments and lower energy use.
 
“With Blade, IBM can drive innovation at the systems networking level to enable clients to speed the delivery of key information from system to system – for workloads such as analytics and cloud computing – while also reducing data center costs.”
 
The deal is the latest in the IT M&A binge in recent months, and IBM's second in just over a week.

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