EMC to buy virtualization specialist Rainfinity

EMC to buy virtualization specialist Rainfinity

EMC is to acquire Rainfinity, a network file virtualisation software vendor. The move is part of its ongoing strategy to reposition itself as an information infrastructure company.

The deal is valued at less than $US100 million and will likely close by the end of this month, according to EMC vice-president and general manager of the company's Celerra business, Jack Garrahan. EMC intends to operate Rainfinity as a separate business unit under the leadership of Howard Elias, vice-president of corporate marketing and office of technology, he said.

Privately-held Rainfinity has 60 employees. Its RainStorage software virtualises Windows, Unix and Linux file systems across heterogenous network attached storage systems and file servers, making the disparate devices appear to be a single unit.

"Our primary strategic reason to acquire Rainfinity is for RainStorage," Garrahan said, adding that EMC will also continue to invest in Rainfinity's high availability security software.

EMC plans to keep the RainStorage name for the remainder of 2005, but will re-evaluate the branding next year, he said.

Rainfinity began life as a research project at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The original research to identify software building blocks for developing distributed applications was known as RAIN or reliable array of independent nodes. Rainfinity was spun off from Caltech in 1998.

EMC began reselling RainStorage earlier this year. "[While] there's definitely been a huge benefit in EMC reselling our product, you don't get the same level of commitment and resources", Schroeder said.

EMC already has a product for storage area network virtualisation, known as Invista, which debuted earlier this year.

The company also confirmed the acquisition of the fixed assets and intellectual property of intelligent switch vendor, Maranti. Garrahan wouldn't comment on what EMC intends to do with the purchased technology.

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