Hitachi Buys Comstock Systems

To bolster its storage software lineup, Hitachi acquires Comstock for $20 million.

To bolster its storage software lineup, Tokyos Hitachi Ltd. this week acquired Comstock Systems Corp. for $20 million.

Comstock makes software to manage network-attached storage and resources like switches and servers, and will essentially be a development shop for Hitachi Data Systems, of Santa Clara, Calif., said HDS President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Roberson.

Comstock, with 36 employees, will keep its current management and remaining a separate company, but be renamed Hitachi Storage Software Inc. The San Jose, Calif., company may also target independent software vendors, Roberson said.

Comstock was already a primary source of the resource management in Hitachis HiCommand suite, he said.

"We wanted it for the people and their skills, not necessarily for the technology theyve already developed," Roberson said.

The move doesnt mean Hitachi is done expanding. The company, a key competitor of Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., still needs to fill gaps in its midrange and modular storage realms, where it will likely partner with server vendors—as it already does with Sun Microsystems Inc.—and in services, which itll try to flesh out "organically," Roberson said.