EMC Closer to Utility Computing With Grid Buy

EMC's purchase of Acxiom's grid software gives it an entree into infrastructure to compete with IBM, HP and Sun.
EMC's $30 million purchase of Acxiom's grid software operating system might seem like small potatoes compared to some of the company's blockbuster purchases.

Take a closer look, and you'll see that the company is gradually adding pieces to its information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy that will enable it to better compete with IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems in the utility computing market.

In utility and on-demand environments, customers pay for computing as they need it, an increasingly popular model for enterprises that crave more flexibility in choosing how and when they tap into resources.

Experts have said IBM, HP and Sun all have an advantage over EMC because they sell storage as well as server systems.

But EMC might not need to sell servers like the systems vendors in order to power customers' enterprise systems: Acxiom's grid software allows users to provision, schedule and see a distributed group of resources and share them across distance.

With Acxiom's grid software, Summit Strategies analyst Joe Clabby said, EMC is poised to move up the ladder into larger virtualized environments to better corral customers' information.

Want more evidence?

Acxiom's grid operating system could also provide a foundation for a service-oriented architecture (SOA) if EMC wants to take it that far. Distributed computing models like grids and SOAs are cornerstones of utility computing models.

"If they need to move up the food chain into SOA and business process flow, Acxiom is a good partner to choose," said Clabby.

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