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Hosting Firm Credits Storage

VeriCenter Inc., a provider of managed IT services, closed today on the purchase of another IT hosting firm, Agiliti Inc., a deal that was first announced in February. The news reflects the growing popularity of managed IT services, which usually include SAN and NAS.

"Storage is absolutely a big part of what we offer," says spokeswoman Jennifer Lozier. "We have SAN, NAS, LAN, a whole variety of things. Some customers are shutting down their data centers and moving data entirely to our facilities."

VeriCenter hosts customers' IT functions at its own facilities in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and with the addition of Agiliti, Minneapolis. The model mimics the application service provider (ASP) trend that rose -- and supposedly dwindled -- in the late 90s.

Nothing about VeriCenter is dwindling. The company claims it's been profitable for three years and earned $38.4 million in 2004, compared with $9.8 million in 2003. Much of this growth came when Houston-based VeriCenter bought the ASP facilities of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) in January 2004, for which it allegedly paid less than $15 million.

Terms of VeriCenter's all-stock deal with Agiliti are undisclosed. The integration of the two companies has been completed, Lozier says.

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