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Leading Data Storage Acquisitions of 2010

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With many tech companies flush with cash, acquisitions are reshaping the data storage industry. Dave Simpson reports.

After the blockbuster HP-3PAR buyout, the storage industry capped a crazy year of M&A activity with the EMC-Isilon and (not yet completed) Dell-Compellent acquisitions. Although any Top 10 list is somewhat arbitrary, here’s our list of the biggest and/or most influential storage acquisitions of 2010.


Throughout the 1990s, Adaptec was synonymous with SCSI, and had a lock on the SCSI controller/adapter market. The company reached its heyday when it racked up revenues of about $800 million in fiscal 2000. But Adaptec didn’t see the winds of change blowing. PMC-Sierra acquired Adaptec in mid-2010 for a mere $34 million.

In addition to Adaptec’s technology and products, PMC gained access to Adaptec’s extensive channel partners.

PMC-Sierra’s acquisition of Adaptec puts the company in even more intense competition with arch rival LSI. Now PMC competes in the channel with LSI at the board level, whereas previously the battle was fought primarily on the semiconductor front. #9: NETAPP – BYCAST

The financial terms of the NetApp-Bycast deal were not disclosed. According to InfoStor’s original article on the acquisition: “NetApp is advancing its efforts in the cloud storage market with the acquisition of Bycast, a developer of object-based storage virtualization software that turns multiple storage devices across geographically-dispersed locations into a single pool for storing fixed content data.”

NetApp plans to leverage Bycast technology, including its StorageGRID virtualization software, in markets such as digital media, Web 2.0, healthcare, and cloud services.

Related article: “NetApp to acquire Bycast for cloud storage software”(InfoStor)


Prior to acquiring the company, Emulex was licensing critical technology — including 10GbE ASICs — from ServerEngines. Acquiring its supplier was key to Emulex’s 10GbE strategy, and the company paid a high price (which could exceed $200 million, depending on a number of factors).

Emulex is now going head-to-head with Ethernet giants Broadcom and Intel, as well as long-time rival QLogic and others.

The acquisition seems to have paid off. Emulex has racked up a number of OEM design wins with Tier-1 vendors for its 10GbE/FCoE/iSCSI adapters, including Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM and NetApp.

ServerEngines was founded in 2004 by former Broadcom engineers who were previously with ServerWorks, which was acquired by Broadcom in 2001. In early 2009, Broadcom launched an unsuccessful hostile takeover of Emulex.

See “Emulex to acquire ServerEngines”(InfoStor)

Read the rest at Enterprise Storage Forum.

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