RealTime IT News

Microsoft Acquires Valence Research

Microsoft Corp. today said it is acquiring advanced clustering software provider Valence Research, Inc., of Beaverton, Ore.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Valence develops of TCP/IP load-balancing and fault tolerance software for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, and Microsoft said the purchase is key to its clustering technology and Internet capabilities.

With the acqusition, Microsoft said it is renaming the technology, calling it the Microsoft Windows NT Load Balancing Service. The service is designed to provide improved scalability and fault tolerance to a host of Windows NT-based products, such as outbound SMTP mail service in Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Proxy Server. The technology will also be deployed in integrated system services, including Microsoft Internet Information Service, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol Service and Microsoft Internet Authentication Service.

Microsoft said it already uses the service in its online infrastructure, in sites such as microsoft.com and MSN.com. In addition, the company said the Windows NT Load Balancing Service is compatible with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard for end-to-end security at the network layer.

"We are excited to extend our clustering capabilities with this acquisition so that many more Microsoft customers can benefit from this technology," said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the personal and business systems group at Microsoft. "Microsoft is also pleased to add key personnel from Valence Research to the Microsoft Windows NT Server team."

Microsoft Windows NT Load Balancing Service will become a standard component of Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition. Pricing and ordering information will be announced later in the year, and customers can learn more about the service at Microsoft's site.