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HP acquires storage firm Transoft

The purchase of Transoft Networks will give Hewlett-Packard a leg up in the competitive storage market.

Hewlett-Packard today announced it has acquired network storage software maker Transoft Networks, a purchase that will give HP a leg up in the competitive storage market.

Transoft Networks develops software that allows network administrators to manage storage across networks of various computer platforms and hardware. Specifically, Transoft's applications manage Storage Area Networks (SANs), where disk drives and tape libraries are housed in a central area separate from servers, making it easier and cheaper to manage or expand the storage system.

Storage networks with this type offer increased server performance, according to Transoft, because computing tasks can be balanced among more systems. In addition, SANs are less expensive to manage than other types of network storage, because the data is centralized, the company says.

Although many in the computer industry have embraced storage area networks, unresolved issues exist in getting new SAN hardware and software to work together. In recent months, Dell Computer and IBM have weighed in with their own SAN initiatives, also emphasizing the importance of cross-platform compatibility.

Transoft markets several SAN applications, including SAN Manager, FibreNet DS, and FibreNet H/A. These products manage networks with both UNIX and Microsoft Windows NT-based servers configured with a variety of hardware.

HP will integrate Transoft's applications throughout its storage products, the company said. "Our agreement with HP enables rapid expansion in our business," said Michael Klein, president of Transoft, in a statement, noting that HP's deep pockets will help the company in its research and development efforts.

If approved, Transoft's 60 employees will be integrated into HP's enterprise storage business unit when the acquisition becomes final later this month.

Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.