HP to Acquire Blade Pioneer RLX

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Oct 3, 2005


Following through on its CEO's pledge to make more purchases in core technology areas, HP said it has inked an agreement to acquire blade server pioneer RLX Technologies. In latest of a string of buys, HP will acquire software to better manage Linux systems on blade servers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close within a month.

RLX makes Control Tower, a software suite used to manage blade servers running the Linux operating system.

Control Tower monitors and alerts IT administrators to changes in the computing environment, managing any system changes from one console. The suite provisions and automates computing tasks based on policies set by administrators.

HP plans to add this software to its BladeSystem portfolio, beefing up the Palo Alto, Calif., company's arsenal of server, storage and enterprise management software. HP aims to offer customers unified infrastructure management across systems based on Linux, Unix and Windows.

Rick Becker, vice president and general manager of HP BladeSystem, said in a statement the purchase hinges on customers' needs for better system management at a time when Linux is expanding from traditional servers to blade server environments.

Blades are modular servers that require fewer cables, as well as less power and space, making them attractive for enterprises with fewer resources.

These characteristics also make them more convenient for utility computing environments, where customers press a few buttons to procure more computing resources, paying as they go.

RLX is the third management software buy HP has made recently.

Last month, it announced intentions to purchase IT management specialist Peregrine Systems for $425 million in cash, as well as storage management company AppIQ for an undisclosed sum.

"Following our recently announced acquisitions of AppIQ and Peregrine Systems, RLX represents another step in HP's expanding enterprise management capabilities to help enterprise and small and medium business customers simplify their IT environments and cut costs," Becker said.

The buys also point to CEO Mark Hurd's aggressive acquisition strategy to Plug holes in its defense against rivals, such as systems vendors IBM, Sun Microsystems and Dell, as well as management software makers, such as Computer Associates and BMC.

The company, headquartered in Spring, Texas, and harboring 36 employees and some 200 customers worldwide, has been in a tough position since exiting the market for blade server hardware last winter.

Competing with IBM and HP, which own more than 80 percent of the blade server market, proved too difficult. RLX, one of the first of a handful of vendors to the blade server market years ago, gave up on hardware to focus on differentiating with software.

RLX's value proposition is that it will treat all devices in a data center as if they are the same, which is a departure from the strategies of most hardware and software vendors.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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