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HP Hooks RLX

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) has bought blade server startup RLX Technologies for an undisclosed fee as part of its long-term strategy to link server and storage blades (see HP Acquires RLX ).

RLX, which is based in Spring, Texas, started life back in 1999 developing both blade hardware and management software, although the company shifted its focus entirely to the latter in 2004. The startups flagship offering, Control Tower, is a Linux-based product for monitoring and provisioning blades.

Linux, long touted as a cost-effective and secure alternative to proprietary software, is a logical fit for high-density, low-footprint blade servers, and HP is one of a number of vendors looking to combine the two technologies. The vendor, for example, recently signed a deal with Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) to boost its presence in this space. (See Red Hat, HP Offer Blade Bundle.)

The RLX acquisition is also part of a broader HP strategy to link servers and storage. HP already offers management software within its BladeSystem architecture for handling blades, although the company is planning to integrate this with Control Tower over the next six months. Ultimately, Control Tower will become part of the HP management software portfolio and a key element of its blade push.

"It will become the primary control point for our blade adapter strategy," says Paul Miller, VP of marketing for HP's industry standard server group. He says users will eventually see storage blades running in the same chassis as traditional server and networking blades.

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