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HP to buy blade pioneer RLX

RLX Technologies doesn't make hardware anymore, but it does have a Linux-based software suite.

Hewlett-Packard is adding to its server arsenal with the purchase of blade pioneer RLX Technologies.

With the acquisition, HP gains the RLX Control Tower, a software suite designed for managing Linux-based blade server environments. Linux's penetration into the blade server market is greater than for the overall server market, analysts and computer makers say. The RLX Control Tower software will join a lineup of infrastructure management applications for Unix and Windows systems.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RLX started out as a maker of blades, ultrathin servers meant to be stacked together into larger assemblies. It exited the hardware business in December to concentrate on software. The Spring, Texas-based company has 36 employees and 200 customers worldwide.

HP has its own array of blade servers, including dual-core models based on the Opteron chip from Advanced Micro Devices.

"It's a good move for HP," said Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff. "HP's putting a lot of energy into provisioning and management. Even if they don't use a huge amount of the existing (RLX) code base, they're picking up a bunch of local engineers who have exactly the kind of skills and expertise HP wants."

The companies expect to complete the transaction in the next 30 days, after which RLX will be part of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

This is the third acquisition in recent weeks by Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP. In September, the tech giant agreed to buy , which makes software for helping companies keep tabs on IT assets, and AppIQ, a provider of storage management technologies.

CNET's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.