FLASHBACK SLIDESHOW: Hottest tech M&A deals of 2008

Our running list of buyouts and mergers in IT for the year.

  • Arbor Networks and Ellacoya -- BUYER: Arbor, a network security company ACQUISITION: Ellacoya, a provider of broadband optimization products WHEN: January PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: The acquisition allows Arbor to take advantage of an increased focus on traffic and service management by broadband providers.

  • Blue Coat Systems and Packeteer -- BUYER: Blue Coat, security and WAN acceleration company ACQUISITION: Packeteer, WAN optimization vendor WHEN: April PRICE: US$268 million WHY: Blue Coat will integrate Packeteer features, including the company's traffic prioritization technology, into its own Blue Coat ProxySG line of appliances. The deal will also help Blue Coat reach more customers through Packeteer's well-established global sales and distribution channel.

  • HP and EDS -- BUYER: HP ACQUISITION: EDS WHEN: May PRICE: US$13.9 billion WHY: EDS was the No. 2 vendor in IT services behind IBM in 2007, reporting US$22.7 billion in revenue, and that will enable HP to more than double its revenue in the high margin market for services.

  • Novell and SiteScape -- BUYER: Novell ACQUISITION: SiteScape, which develops workgroup collaboration tools, including threaded discussion, document sharing, workflow, wikis, blogs and integration with real-time tools such as voice and Web conferencing. WHEN: February PRICE: Undisclosed, but Novell says it was an all-cash deal. WHY: Novell is building out its collaboration wares and integrating new tools with its GroupWise platform, including social networking, voice and conferencing.

  • Cisco and Nuova -- BUYER: Cisco ACQUISITION: Nuova, a switch start-up already 80 per cent owned by Cisco and formed by several ex-Cisco execs WHEN: April PRICE: The maximum potential payout for Nuova could reach US$678 million based on the revenue of Nuova products over three measurement periods. WHY: Provides Cisco with technology for data center switches that include a unified switching fabric that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Data Center Ethernet and virtualization technologies.

  • Nokia and Trolltech -- BUYER: Nokia ACQUISITION: Trolltech, a Norwegian developer of a framework used to build user interfaces for mobile and embedded devices. WHEN: January PRICE: US$153 million WHY: Nokia hopes to use Trolltech's expertise to improve the interfaces on its mobile devices.

  • Sun and Innotek -- BUYER: Sun ACQUISITION: Innotek, an open source desktop virtualization company WHEN: February 12 PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: Sun officials say Innotek fills a gap in its virtualization portfolio, with a product that can comepte against desktop virtualization tools from VMware and Parallels. Sun also hopes Innotek's VirtualBox application will drive developers and data center managers toward Sun's other virtualization products.

  • Oracle and BEA Systems -- BUYER: Oracle ACQUISITION: BEA, middleware vendor WHEN: January PRICE: US$8.5 billion WHY: Boost Oracle's Fusion line of middleware and pave way for customers moving to service-oriented architectures.

  • EMC and Infra -- BUYER: EMC ACQUISITION: Infra, a privately held maker of help desk and IT service management software that has its roots in Australia WHEN: March PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: EMC says the deal will augment its "closed-loop service orchestration" strategy, part of its overall data center automation scheme.

  • Yahoo and Maven -- BUYER: Yahoo ACQUISITION: Maven -- Maven prodiveds media companies including Fox News, CBS Sports, Sony BMG a platform to manage, distribute and earn advertising revenue from their online video content WHEN: February PRICE: US$160 billion WHY: Yahoo hopes to boost its video advertising capabilities.

  • Microsoft and Calista -- BUYER: Microsoft ACQUISITION: Calista Technologies, graphics technology for virtualization WHEN: January PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: The companies say: "Calista's software improves the end-user experience of 3D and multimedia delivery for Microsoft multimedia applications, virtualized desktop deployments, and server-hosted virtualized desktops or applications using Windows Terminal Services."

  • Microsoft and Fast Search & Transfer -- BUYER: Microsoft ACQUISITION: Fast Search & Transfer, Norwegian enterprise search vendor WHEN: January PRICE: US$1.2 billion WHY: As Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business division, said in a press conference: "Microsoft had the tools to search millions of documents but not billions of documents."

  • A summary of who did the buying, who got bought, how much they went for and why. We'll be updating as more deals are made.

  • Symantec and AppStream -- BUYER: Symantec ACQUISITION: AppStream, a seller of software used to deliver applications to the corporate desktop on demand WHEN: April PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: The acquisition will help Symantec better compete companies such as Microsoft (SoftGrid) and the VMware (Thinstall Virtualization Suite)

  • IBM and Encenuate -- BUYER: IBM ACQUISITION: Encenuate, vendor of single sign-on, strong authentication and secure remote access products WHEN: March PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: IBM will add Encenuate's single sign-on technology to its Tivoli line of identity and access management products.

  • Aruba and AirWave -- BUYER: Aruba Networks, maker of security mobility products for the enterprise ACQUISITION: AirWave, wireless LAN management vendor WHEN: January PRICE: US$37 million WHY: Gives Aruba one of the few WLAN management applications that can manage different brands of equipment, and one of even fewer that can manage different types of wireless networks including mesh and WiMAX.

  • EMC and Iomega -- BUYER: EMC ACQUISITION: Iomega, storage peripherals maker WHEN: April PRICE: US$213 million WHY: EMC CEO Joe Tucci said in a statement that his company's acquisition will be a key part of its strategy to expand into the consumer and small business markets. Iomega's products include NAS systems, Zip drives and data recovery services.

  • Sun Microsystems and Montalvo Systems -- BUYER: Sun ACQUISITION: Montalvo WHEN: April PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: Montalvo is believed to working on a low-power processor that aims to compete with chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. "We believe acquiring these assets will enhance the current and future products we are developing and expect them to contribute to future generations of Sun's microprocessor technology which will in turn drive additional differentiation for Sun's Systems products," said Dana Lengkeek, a Sun spokeswoman.

  • EMC and Pi -- BUYER: EMC ACQUISITION: Pi, a US-based maker of software and services that help users keep track of their personal data WHEN: February PRICE: Undisclosed, but all cash WHY: Better enable EMC to handle the growing amount of personal data people need managed, and furthers the company's cloud computing efforts. To boot, ex-Microsoft bigwig and Pi CEO Paul Maritz gets brought into EMC fold.

  • Ciena and World Wide Packets -- BUYER: Ciena ACQUISITION: World Wide Packets, maker of switches and software used by carriers to provide Ethernet services WHEN: January PRICE: US$290 million WHY: Bolsters Ciena's collection of products in the growing carrier Ethernet market.

  • Sun and MySQL -- BUYER: Sun ACQUISITION: MySQL, Swedish open source database vendor WHEN: January PRICE: US$1 billion WHY: Give Sun a strong presence in the US$15 billion database market, further its support for open source and software-as-a-service.

  • Double-Take and TimeSpring -- BUYER: Double-Take, replication software provider ACQUISITION: TimeSpring, continuous data protection product vendor WHEN: January PRICE: US$8.3 million WHY: By combining CDP with replication you get improved data protection with the ability to roll back your server's data to any specific point in time which could be just before a system crash or virus infection.

  • Novell and PlateSpin -- BUYER: Novell ACQUISITION: PlateSpin, a maker of technologies that improve server consolidation, speed hardware migration, optimize disaster recovery initiatives and manage server virtualization across data centers. WHEN: February 25, 2008 PRICE: US$205 million all-cash deal WHY: Novell officials say PlateSpin's technology will provide Novell with server consolidation, disaster recovery and workload automation tools to build out its own heterogeneous, platform-agnostic data center optimization and automation technologies. The software will work alongside Novell's ZENworks management suite to provide customers with automated capabilities around migrating and managing both physical and virtual servers in enterprise data centers, Novell says.

  • Who will be next?

  • Microsoft and Kidaro -- BUYER: Microsoft ACQUISITION: Kidaro, maker of desktop virtualization software WHEN: March PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: Plans to integrate Kidaro's technology into the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance. Microsoft expects that the software will help accelerate migration to Windows Vista because it can minimize compatibility issues between applications and the OS.

  • Nimsoft and Indicative -- BUYER: Nimsoft, vendor of service-level management software ACQUISITION: Indicative Software, a maker of business service management software WHEN: April PRICE: Undisclosed, cash and stock WHY: To deliver a more complete performance and availability management offering. Company officials say the firms complement each other in that one's software is agentless, the other agent-based; one company is mid-market focused, the other targets large scale rollouts.

  • Microsoft and Danger -- BUYER: Microsoft ACQUISITION: Danger, developer of mobile device software and services, such as those for T-Mobile's Sidekick device WHEN: February PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: Microsoft is looking to boost its presence in the mobile consumer market and expects to integrate Danger technology with offerings such as MSN and Xbox.

  • Nokia Siemens Networks and Apertio -- BUYER: Nokia Siemens ACQUISITION: Apertio, which specializes in management applications for network operators WHEN: January PRICE: US$205 million WHY: The management and consolidation of subscriber data is becoming more important, particularly as operators offer "converged" services, the term for offerings that combine mobile, fixed-line and Internet-based services, the companies said.

  • IBM and XIV -- BUYER: IBM ACQUISITION: XIV, an Israeli SAN product maker WHEN: January PRICE: Undisclosed, though estimated in Israeli press reports to be between US$300 million and $350 million. WHY: XIV's Nextra products offer self-healing, self-tuning and dynamic scaling capabilities that IBM says will enable it to better address demand for high-performance storage for digital archives, digital media and Web 2.0 applications.

  • Oracle and Captovation -- BUYER: Oracle ACQUISITION: Captovation, document capture company WHEN: January PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: Software will be plugged into Oracle's existing content-management suite. In a letter to customers, an Oracle senior vice president said that Captovation's technology will help customers deal with regulatory requirements for auditing processes and save them money.

  • Network Appliance and Onaro -- BUYER: Network Appliance ACQUISITION: Onaro, a storage management company WHEN: January PRICE: Undisclosed WHY: NetApp says Onaro's products are complementary to its existing offerings, which include its V-Series virtualization systems; ReplicatorX data recovery and replication software; and its Decru DataFort storage encryption appliances.

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