Sun acquires IP rights for US$50 million

In an attempt to strengthen its position in the storage marketplace, Sun Microsystems has forked out US$50 million in cash to acquire Procom Technology.

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By  Jane Plunkett Published  May 18, 2005

In an attempt to strengthen its position in the storage marketplace, Sun Microsystems has forked out US$50 million in cash to acquire Procom Technology. Sun already has a licensing agreement for Procom's storage management software, which ships with its StorEdge 5000 network attached storage (NAS) line since April 2004. The vendor will now however own the intellectual property for the software that lets administrators use wizards to install and manage storage appliances. Along with acquiring rights relating to this technology, Sun will gain additional engineering expertise, enabling it to build future NAS and next-generation file-based storage systems much faster and more cost-effectively. To date reports show that Sun's storage unit is lagging behind rivals such as IBM, which resells Network Appliances’ NAS products, storage vendor EMC and Hewlett Packard. Sun is hopeful the Procom deal will help boost its position in the market. "The entire storage marketplace is clearly moving toward industry-standard platforms and operating systems," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer, Sun Microsystems. “As a provider of both, with our leading volume platforms and the Solaris operating system, Sun is uniquely positioned to leverage Procom's technology to drive down the cost of NAS appliances for customers, while aiming to drive margin opportunities for Sun,” he added. Sun uses the Procom software in its Compliance Archiving System which targets companies looking for a way to store data in compliance with government legislation and data integrity requirements. The acquisition is expected to close in June 2005. In addition, Sun has also announced acquiring software maker Tarantella, makers of network access and management software in a $25 million cash deal. Tarantella’s software helps customers who are using desktop or blade PCs access programmes running on a server. For example, letting a Linux-based or Java-equipped PC appear to run Windows programmes that actually are running on a central Windows server. Tarantella's Secure Global Desktop line also allows customers to Web-enable applications. The deal is expected to close in early 2006.

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