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Big Blue Buys Think Dynamics

Advancing its on-demand computing strategy, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today said that it has acquired Canadian software startup Think Dynamics (see IBM Acquires Think Dynamics).

IBM didn't disclose the financial details of the deal, but the company probably paid a lot less than the amount it dished out for its last software acquisition. In February, IBM purchased Rational Software for a whopping $2.1 billion. Think Dynamics, with just under $8 million in total funding -- mainly from Canadian venture capital firm Brightspark -- surely reeled in less than that.

In any case, the Toronto startup's software should fit in nicely with the on-demand computing initiative IBM launched about six months ago. Analysts say that this is a good move for IBM, and that it's another validation of the drive toward utility computing. "This adds credibility to the notion of full system automation from the host on down," says IDC analyst Bill North.

Think Dynamics' software helps automate the process of reallocating resources to systems as peaks and demands shift within networks. This so-called autonomic technology (in IBM's terminology) enables computers to automatically initiate and manage necessary changes. Resources supporting lower-priority work can, for instance, quickly be reallocated to meet higher-priority needs as they arise. On the storage side, this would mean, among other things, more resilient and dependable backup and restore capabilities, IBM claims.

"The IT structure can adapt to what's going on in the business," Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBM Tivoli Software, said on a conference call discussing the news.

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