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Agilent Picks up Rest of RedSwitch

Officials at Agilent Technologies announced Thursday night the buyout of a switch "fabric" silicon designer to boost its InfiniBand switches.

The buy brings instant expertise to the Agilent fold, something the company lost last year with the release of 4,000 workers in the wake of the dot bomb era.

RedSwitch brings 80 employees back into Agilent, though officials say RedSwitch employees will continue to work from their headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., before moving into Agilent offices.

Agilent executives expect to immediately see efficiencies as a result of the merger; the company is an engineering and manufacturing outfit for network testing equipment and storage networks, while RedSwitch provides switch design expertise and management.

Agilent has always maintained strong ties with RedSwitch; in fact, Agilent had already owned 74 percent of the company prior to yesterday. Officials wouldn't release the financial particulars of the deal, saying only that all outstanding shares had been purchased.

Mark Alden, an Agilent spokesperson, said the efficiencies created will be a benefit to the company and its customers alike.

"Although we were majority owners, our two companies operated independently," he said. "We worked together on a lot of projects; they did most of the front-end design and on the back end we did the layout and manufacturing. Having RedSwitch is going to allow for closer interaction."

RedSwitch's expertise in fabric switching is elemental to development of InifiBand servers for Agilent. InfiniBand is a networking technology used storage area networks to accommodate the increasing amount of information passing through a server. It frees the server from processing I/O functions with incoming and outgoing data traffic in addition to other server functions -- for example, an e-commerce server collecting and analyzing customer information

The merger is expected to close by the end of November.