This was a banner year for consolidation among storage and IT vendors, with two multibillion dollar deals for disk array vendors leading the way. Along with two SAN vendors, targets of 2010 technology acquisitions included a clustered NAS pioneer, two primary data reduction players, and two data protection software firms.
Here are the top storage acquisitions of 2010:
Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. outbid Dell Inc. in a three-week auction, landing storage array and thin provisioning pioneer 3PAR for $2.35 billion. After the deal closed, HP executives said 3PAR would be their leading storage platform and fit in the mid-tier, high-end and cloud markets.
HP beats Dell, pays $2.35 billion for 3PAR
EMC Corp. paid $2.25 billion for Isilon Systems Inc., indicating EMC suddenly saw clustered NAS as a must-have technology or it wanted to keep Isilon away from NetApp or Dell.
EMC buys clustered NAS vendor Isilon for $2.25 billion
3. Dell-Compellent Technologies
In the last storage technology acquisition of 2010, Dell landed Compellent Technologies Inc. as an $820 million consolation prize after losing out to HP for 3PAR. Besides giving Dell another SAN platform of its own to go with EqualLogic, the deal probably means Dell's OEM partnership with EMC won't survive 2011.
Dell buys SAN array vendor Compellent for $820 million
4. Vision Solutions-Double-Take
Vision Solutions Inc. paid $242 million for the data protection software vendor, which specializes in high-availability software. Vision will reshuffle Double-Take Software Inc. products a bit, emphasizing protection for virtual machines.
Double-Take to be acquired by Vision Solutions
5. Dell-Ocarina Networks
Dell paid approximately $150 million to acquire Ocarina Networks in the first of two July deals involving primary data reduction startups. Dell hasn't integrated Ocarina's technology in any of its storage products yet, but it's certain to show up in primary storage (EqualLogic and Compellent) and probably in backup as well.
Dell-Ocarina deal will alter landscape of primary deduplication
IBM completed its $140 million acquisition of Storwize Inc. nine days after Dell bought Ocarina, but it was no secret that IBM was looking to make the deal before Dell struck. IBM will likely add Storwize's in-line compression to its storage products, and relaunched Storwize's pre-acquisition product as the IBM Real-Time Compression Appliance. IBM also borrowed the Storwize brand for its V7000 storage virtualization array, which does not yet include any compression.
IBM buys Storwize for primary data compression
NetApp got into object storage with this deal, and it considers Bycast Inc.'s technology a building block for private and public cloud implementations. NetApp will seek to widen Bycast's target market, which consisted mainly of healthcare companies that need to store medical images.
NetApp adds object storage with Bycast acquisition
EMC occasionally makes acquisitions outside the traditional data storage market, such as VMware and RSA Security. Greenplum Inc. was a cheaper pickup than those other two, and gives EMC a "big data" play for warehousing and data analytics. EMC has already used the Greenplum deal to launch a rival to Oracle Corp.'s Exadata.
EMC acquires Greenplum for data warehousing, analytics
9. Quest Software-BakBone
Quest Software Inc. spent $55 million on backup software vendor BakBone Software Inc., adding it to a stable of products that includes virtual machine backup application vRanger. Quest will either try to combine them into one backup app, or at least hope that customers want to buy physical and virtual backup from the same vendor.
Virtual server backup vendor Quest buys BakBone
Network management vendor SolarWinds acquired Tek-Tools for $42 million, giving it storage management for its common IT management framework.