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Sun acquires Pirus, strengthens virtualization plans

In a move that will strengthen its virtualization strategy, Sun has cut a deal to acquire network switch maker Pirus Networks.

Sun Microsystems has cut a deal to buy Pirus Networks Inc., a start-up that develops intelligent storage networking hardware for distributed open systems environments. With the acquisition, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun will be able to deliver one of the critical data service components of its N1 architecture and strategy.

Announced earlier this year, N1 is Sun's initiative to virtualize much of its computing offerings. By integrating Pirus's technology into its existing end-to-end architecture, Sun gains the ability to create a unified storage network, regardless of vendor.

Mark Canepa, executive vice president of Sun's Network Storage Products Group, said his company looked at a pool of 65 potential acquisition candidates during the past year and felt that, in the long run, Pirus will offer the best complement to Sun's N1 storage portfolio.

The Acton, Mass.-based Pirus released its PSX-1000, a storage utility switch, in March.

"This adds an opportunity for [Sun]," Canepa said. "Pirus gives us an end-to-end strategy, and brings a ton of technology."

Terms of the all-stock deal were not disclosed.

Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, Beaverton, OR, said the purchase was a good move for Sun.

"This strengthens Sun's 6900 product," Staimer said. "Acquiring Pirus means that [Pirus's switch] becomes Sun's storage controller in the mid-range offering."

Steve Duplessie, the founder of Enterprise Storage Group, Milford, Mass., said Pirus's switch will initially be meshed into Sun's overall storage networking offerings and that this purchase "completely validates the whole intelligent switch market."

Mark Lovington, Pirus's vice president of marketing, said that only a minimal number of jobs will be lost with this acquisition. He estimated that about 95% of Pirus's 125 employees will continue with the company.

For more information:

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