EMC Goes Grid For $30M

EMC is going grid.

In its quest to become a pervasive provider of information systems, EMC
purchased grid software from Acxiom Corporation for $30 million as part
of a technology and distribution partnership.

Acxiom, of Little Rock, Ark., makes grid software that helps its
customers improve the way they use computers and access information. It
provides a single location where services and data content can be
manipulated, stored and made available to serve applications.

Grid technology, where many machines are applied to one task simultaneously,
achieves faster results for enterprise computing. Research experts such as
The 451 Group believe grid is a cornerstone for utility computing platforms,
where customers can pay for computing power “by the drink.”

Initially, EMC and Acxiom will jointly develop and market an information
grid solution to customers as a hosted offering from Acxiom.

But EMC has purchased the Acxiom grid software, and eventually the companies
will integrate relevant systems, software, services and data from both
companies into one information storage grid product for customers.

The idea is to help customers meet their requirements for speedy information
exchange, retrieval and management at a time when data is growing at
staggering rates, said EMC CTO Jeff Nick. This will help EMC fortify its
information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy for managing data from
cradle to grave.

“For many organizations, innovation and competitive advantage are locked
inside this wealth of data –- from internal sources on customers and
prospects, to external sources on demographics and purchasing habits, to
supply chain data,” Nick said in a statement.

Nick added the EMC has been evaluating grid software for awhile and found
Acxiom’s grid solution to be the most advanced. Other players in the grid
software space include Platform Computing, DataSynapse and United Devices.

Nick is well qualified to judge grid software. EMC hired him away from IBM, where he had worked for 24 years and earned the distinguished
title of IBM Fellow.

He was responsible for the design and architecture of IBM’s on-demand
initiative, and at one point also led IBM’s Grid Computing strategy. Along
with the Globus Grid group, Nick was a co-author of the first grid/Web
services document.

Now he helps EMC shape its ILM strategy.

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