HP Acquires Blade Pioneer RLX

Following through on its CEO’s pledge to make more purchases in core
technology areas, HP said it has inked an agreement to acquire blade server
pioneer RLX Technologies.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to
close within a month.

RLX makes Control Tower, a software suite used to manage blade servers
running the Linux operating system.

Control Tower monitors and alerts IT administrators to changes in the
computing environment, managing any system changes from one console. The
suite provisions and automates computing tasks based on policies set by

HP plans to add this software to its BladeSystem portfolio, beefing up the
Palo Alto, Calif., company’s arsenal of server, storage and enterprise
management software. HP aims to offer customers unified infrastructure
management across systems based on Linux, Unix and Windows.

Rick Becker, vice president and general manager of HP BladeSystem, said in a
statement the purchase hinges on customers’ needs for better system management
at a time when Linux is expanding from traditional servers to blade server

Blades are modular servers that require fewer cables, as well as less power
and space, making them attractive for enterprises with fewer resources.

These characteristics also make them more convenient for utility computing
environments, where customers press a few buttons to procure more computing
resources, paying as they go.

RLX is the third management software buy HP has made recently.

Last month, it announced intentions to purchase IT management specialist Peregrine Systems for $425
million in cash, as well as storage management company AppIQ for an undisclosed sum.

“Following our recently announced acquisitions of AppIQ and Peregrine
Systems, RLX represents another step in HP’s expanding enterprise management
capabilities to help enterprise and small and medium business customers
simplify their IT environments and cut costs,” Becker said.

The buys also point to CEO Mark Hurd’s aggressive acquisition strategy to
Plug holes in its defense against rivals, such as systems vendors IBM, Sun
Microsystems and Dell, as well as management software makers, such as
Computer Associates and BMC.

The company, headquartered in Spring, Texas, and harboring 36 employees and
some 200 customers worldwide, has been in a tough position since exiting the
market for blade server hardware last winter.

Competing with IBM and HP, which own more than 80 percent of the blade
server market, proved too difficult. RLX, one of the first of a
handful of vendors to the blade server market years ago, gave up
on hardware to focus on differentiating with software.

RLX’s value proposition is that it will treat all devices in a data center
as if they are the same, which is a departure from the strategies of most hardware
and software vendors.

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