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Netgear Bids For More Storage Networking

Netgear Thursday  moved to pad its storage networking gear portfolio when it agreed to purchase Infrant Technologies for $60 million in cash.

The networking vendor wants privately held Infrant for its ReadyNAS network attached storage (NAS)  appliances, which provide (RAID) data protection for small businesses looking to sock away a lot of data without breaking the bank.

The current Infrant product line includes ReadyNAS NV+, a four-bay desktop device, and ReadyNAS 1100, a four-bay, rack-mount chassis system. ReadyNAS systems include a proprietary network storage processor, Linux-based RAIDiator operating system and X-RAID technology, which triggers automatic RAID volume expansion as additional drives are added.

Netgear already offers storage networking hardware with SC101 Storage Central, a machine based on Zetera Corporation's micro SAN technology.

But while Storage Central stores home users' photos, files and documents for up to five PCs, CEO Patrick Lo told internetnews.com via e-mail that Infrant's ReadyNAS systems will scale from six to 50 computers, making them ideal for SMBs.

Lo added that he and his team expect to use the Netgear brand, as well as domestic and international supply-chain relationships and distributor base to expand distribution for Infrant's products.

By expanding from the home office to SMBs, Netgear is responding to a market need that EMC , IBM , HP  and several other vendors are trying to address; SMBs might not be big companies, but they still might have enterprise-class data needs to fill.

While the deal is a cash exchange for $60 million, Infrant shareholders may receive a total additional payout of up to $20 million in cash over the three years following closure of the buy if specific revenue targets are reached.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, with Infrant President and CEO Paul Tien joining Netgear as vice president and general manager for storage products. Infrant's 34 fulltime employees will also join Netgear.