EMC Buys Software Maker Prisa

EMC acquires the maker of the VisualSAN storage-area network topology mapping product for $20 million.

EMC Corp. on Wednesday announced its acquisition of midrange storage software maker Prisa Networks Inc. for $20 million.

Prisa, of San Diego, has a product for storage-area network topology mapping, VisualSAN. VisualSAN also has a remote support component and a software developers kit.

Officials of EMC were not immediately available for comment. However, CEO and President Joe Tucci has previously stated the goal of expanding the Hopkinton, Mass., companys high-end software—which currently is used on its high-end Symmetrix hardware—onto the midrange Clariion platform. Prisas software will help EMC do that.

Prisas business plan was to sell through OEMs, like Compaq Computer Corp., which was an early Prisa investor. Officials of Hewlett-Packard Co., which merged with Compaq, also were not immediately available for comment.

Prisa was also said to be working on a resale deal with Dell Computer Corp., but only a development agreement was signed between the companies, and that was two years ago, a Dell spokesman said.

However, Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, will now likely have access to Prisas products anyway because EMC and Dell established a partnership last year, specifically to help EMC reach the midmarket.

"I think its a real good thing for both companies," said industry analyst Nancy Marone, of Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Portland, Ore. EMCs needed good midmarket SAN management technology, and "Prisa really did that," she said.

Like the acquisition of SANavigator by switch maker McData Inc. and the takeover of Vixel Corp. software by Fujitsu Ltd.s Softek division, EMCs buying a company with good technology and credibility, but no revenue, Marone noted. Also, she said, itll be at least six to eight months before EMC can integrate Prisas products into the EMC ControlCenter suite.

(Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from industry analyst Nancy Marone.)