IBM is buying privately held Softek Storage Solutions to bolster the offerings within its Global Technology Services group.
Softek, a 7-year-old hosted data migration provider in Vienna, Va., offers software and services that enable enterprises to move data from one location to another outside the application layer and across any storage platform or distance.
Buying Softek follows a spate of recent IBM acquisitions, including companies such as Internet Security Systems, MRO Software and FileNet. IBM did not disclose financial details when it announced the deal Jan. 29.
Softek gives IBMs services business a functionality it had sought for some time to help compete with storage giant EMC. Softek sells installable software and also provides one-time-only or regular subscription services for handling data movement, depending on the needs of the customer.
"This helps us to make sure that we have all the tools we need to do all those [data migration] pieces," said Charlie Andrews, director of system storage marketing for IBM, in Armonk, N.Y. "The biggest advantage is that a customer can move any amount of data, depending upon channels speeds, from one place to another in a nondisruptive manner."
Specifically, Softek gives IBM a new functionality in its competition against EMC: TDMF (Transparent Data Migration Facility). The software provides a unified approach to moving and managing data across storage vendor platforms and operating systems, as part of an infrastructure change, according to Softek.
Softeks products are well-designed, and the companys rigorous approach has resulted in it becoming a partner of most major enterprise storage and service vendors, said analyst Charles King, of Pund-IT.
"Softeks acquisition by IBM qualifies as a simple, classic acquisition where a smaller company is bought by a larger company because the match is right," King said. "Softek has a good product, a good customer base and a good reputation. The companys TDMF product is a good bread-and-butter solution that has a very good fit within IBMs product line."
The transaction is anticipated to close during the first quarter.