IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held data centre switching company, Blade Network Technologies, based in Santa Clara, CA. Blade specialises in software and devices that route data and transactions to and from servers.
Without disclosing the deal terms, IBM expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Blade provides blade server and top-of-rack switches as well as software to virtualise and manage cloud computing and other workloads.
Customers include more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list across 26 industry verticals, including automotive, telecom services, education, government, healthcare, defense and finance.
IBM and Blade have worked together since 2002, resulting in thousands of joint clients.
In fact, over 50 per cent of IBM System x BladeCentres currently attach to or use Blade products.
The Blade acquisition builds on the industry-leading capabilities and technologies IBM is applying to its systems, which are optimised to help clients manage a range of new, more demanding workloads.
This year, IBM introduced a full line-up of new, workload-optimised systems that incorporate innovation at each level -- from microprocessors and firmware software to middleware and hardware.