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Red Hat Buys into Storage

Hoping to take advantage of the growing popularity of Linux in storage networks, Red Hat announced plans to acquire storage infrastructure software firm Sistina Software.

"With enterprise-class storage management capabilities in place, Linux operating environments look more trustworthy than ever," said John Webster, senior analyst and founder of Data Mobility Group. In February, Webster wrote a paper predicting that Linux-based storage would begin to make inroads into data centers and would equate to a $2 billion market opportunity.

Sistina figured prominently in that paper, described by Webster as "one of the companies in the vanguard of the Linux storage movement."

Red Hat said the acquisition, combined with its Open Source Architecture strategy, "will provide enterprise Linux customers a path to virtualization and vendor-independent storage solutions."

With speed and the capability to support big block sizes while delivering cost savings, Linux's popularity for storage solutions has been growing.

Sistina bills its storage infrastructure software as a foundation for building, integrating and deploying data-sharing storage solutions across the enterprise.

The company's products include the following:

  • Sistina GFS, a Linux-based cluster file system
  • Logical Volume Manager, which Sistina describes as "a major building block in Linux" that's designed to enable enterprise-level disk volume management by grouping arbitrary physical disks into virtual disk volumes
  • Sistina GFS for Oracle9i RAC, which is designed to help reduce the complexity of implementing and maintaining an Oracle9i RAC system.

"The acquisition of the Sistina technology and world-class development team, in close collaboration with the open source community, will greatly accelerate the availability and advancement of open source storage solutions for the enterprise," Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president of engineering, said in a statement.

Sistina's engineering team, consisting of industry experts in clustering and virtualization, will augment Red Hat's development efforts. The integrated team will work to make all of Sistina's technologies open source and available as a part of a subscription in the first half of 2004, Red Hat said.

The $31 million stock-based acquisition is expected to be completed in early January.

Shares of Red Hat were up 16 percent in early trading Friday on the company's move into storage and news of its strong earnings.

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