IBMs Tivoli Division Acquires Storage Startup

Key to deal is TrelliSoft's StorageAlert storage resource management suite.

IBMs Tivoli software division has acquired privately owned storage startup TrelliSoft Inc., officials of both companies announced Thursday.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, gives IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., a technology base for the SRM (storage resource management) niche, which Tivoli has been developing internally for several months.

TrelliSoft, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., makes an SRM suite called StorageAlert, with 35 customers, ranging in size from small businesses to large enterprises, though none has been publicly identified, said Stephen Donovan, TrelliSofts CEO, president and co-founder.

Donovan and other TrelliSoft executives were leaders of Platinum Technology International Inc., bought by Computer Associates International Inc. for $3.5 billion in May 1999.

"We truly believe were now the market leader in capability," said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of Tivoli, in Austin, Texas. "Weve got more products and technology that well bring to market later on this year and a road map … that well take to customers in the next couple of months," he said. Part of that road map will be a port of StorageAlert to IBMs Z/OS mainframe operating system, he said.

IBMs development efforts and StorageAlert will meld easily because both are Java- and Web-based, LeBlanc added. Now, "we feel that all the major holes are filled," he said.

"We did a pretty exhaustive search of all the companies and technologies that are out there, and we also looked at developing the tech ourselves," LeBlanc added. Besides having the similar technology base, the fact that TrelliSoft has actual customers "had a lot to do with it. That obviously played a very big role," he said.

"Tivoli had not delivered an SRM package, so it makes sense to acquire one," Evaluator Group Inc. analyst Randy Kerns said. Meanwhile, "TrelliSoft has many of the needed features for SRM and probably needed to be acquired to get a wider market penetration," said Kearns, in Greenwood Village, Colo.