EMC Spends $30M on Acxiom Grid Technology

EMC says it has plans to build and manage grid infrastructure as part of its purchase of Acxiom's grid middleware and grid software technology.

EMC Corp. announced plans on Thursday to build and manage grid infrastructure as part of its aggregate $30 million purchase of Acxiom Corp.s information grid middleware and grid software technology.

At the same time, EMC said it is partnering with Acxiom to jointly develop and commercially market a BIG (business information grid) offering that can be deployed behind a customers firewall.

Currently, Acxiom provides customers with a hosted-model grid solution capable of delivering business intelligence services from within Acxioms data center.

Over the next two years, EMC will work with Little Rock, Ark.-based Acxiom to re-architect the technology into a customer located offering, referred to as BIG, rather than in a required hosted format, said Ian Baird, CTO of Grid and Utility Computing for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC.

Baird said that initially EMC will sell Acxioms hosted grid solution to customers from Acxiom while both parties work on the construction of BIG.

Over the next couple of years, EMC will integrate other parts of Acxioms and the storage giants own technology portfolio which can benefit grid infrastructure to help build out EMCs information lifecycle management strategy.

This will allow customers to more easily manage the resource that desired information is dependent upon, provision against those same resources for optimal retrieval, and enhance information access, Baird said.

"What this does is allows us to tie together different storage systems and capitalize on the capabilities of grid to move data across broad systems," Baird said.

"Grid is a generic middleware layer. It can take SAN [storage area network] environments and take away the very silo or island nature that companies operate [their storage] today; you can connect yourself to NAS [network attached storage]; or VM ware in virtualization."

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about EMCs plans to acquire Captiva Software.

In particular, he said EMCs SMARTS technology, acquired for $260 million about a year ago, will help build greater intelligence into grid deployments to conduct more automated workflow without human intervention.

As part of its deal with EMC, Acxiom will continue to have access to the information grid software and further developments for its own continued use in connection with its business needs.

Baird said that EMC has already identified a number of "major" enterprise customers who EMC will be working with on pilots of the new BIG technology over the next few years.

He said that at first, EMC will introduce those clients to Acxioms hosted grid offering and eventually have them move over to their own internal deployment of grid technology.

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