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EMC scoops up software player

The storage giant says it has acquired Astrum Software, which develops software that manages companies' storage equipment.

Storage giant EMC said Tuesday that it has acquired Astrum Software, a small firm focused on the growing market for software that manages companies' storage gear.

Terms of the purchase, which is EMC's ninth software acquisition in the past three years, were not disclosed. Boston-based Astrum has approximately 30 employees and has been focused on software that helps companies with small and midsize storage networks to manage their files by setting policies for various groups, individuals or departments.

The deal is part of an increasing focus by EMC on software and the midrange of the market, both areas that are seeing stronger growth than the market as a whole.

Software is seen as a key to helping companies make more of their already large investments in storage, while the midrange hardware market is heating up with an infusion of capabilities once found only in the most expensive gear.

EMC spokesman Greg Eden said that the deal will help EMC continue its effort to develop software that can manage various companies' storage gear. "It (also) furthers our midtier storage strategy," he said.

Nearly all of Astrum's workers will be joining EMC, Eden said.

The deal comes the same day that EMC touted a Gartner survey that shows it leading the market for storage management software by revenue, with a roughly 25 percent market share. EMC said it also is No. 1 in the storage resource management market--the market in which Astrum competes--with a 46 percent share.