Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

10 Big 2015 Tech Mergers That Will Transform Data Centers

  • {image 1}

    Almost a year ago, analysts at IDC predicted that the technology industry might, "see two or three major mergers, acquisitions, or restructurings among the top-tier IT vendors in 2015." In reality, this has been a tremendously busy year for tech mergers and acquisitions, culminating in the largest merger ever in the sector: Dell's proposed buyout of EMC. The networking, storage, semiconductor, security, and cloud computing markets all saw major changes that altered the competitive landscape.

    The repercussions of these mergers could impact enterprise data centers for many years to come. In some cases, the mergers could result in new synergies that could add valuable capabilities to various hardware and software products, and in others organizations may find that the products or services they were using are being discontinued. Some of the newly formed companies may be able to realize efficiencies that result in lower prices for their customers, while the reduction in competition could result in price increases for others.

    On the following pages, we highlight 10 big mergers and acquisitions from this year that could have major implications for data centers. They aren't necessarily the biggest deals of the year, but all will be very significant for the technology industry and enterprise IT pros in the years ahead.

    (Image: Maxiphoto/iStockphoto)

  • Citrix Acquires Sanbolic

    Back in January, Citrix announced that it was acquiring Sanbolic for an undisclosed price. Sanbolic makes software-defined storage software, which Citrix said would help it lower costs and complexity for Windows application delivery and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Before the merger, the two companies had a close relationship, with more than 200 Citrix customers using Sanbolic alongside their XenApp and XenDekstop deployments. It was Citrix's first acquisition in the storage space, and some analysts characterized the purchase as a good move that could help the company better compete with VMware.

  • IBM Buys Cleversafe

    In another storage-related merger, IBM announced plans to buy Cleversafe in early October. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Cleversafe sells object-based storage software and appliances, and IBM has said that it plans to integrate this technology into IBM Cloud offerings. In a blog post, Network Computing contributor Jim O'Reilly wrote, "IBM's recent move to acquire Cleversafe pales in comparison to this week's proposed mega-merger of Dell and EMC, but in the long run promises to be much more successful."

  • Cisco To Acquire Lancope

    In a deal announced in October, Cisco purchased network security vendor Lancope for $452.5 million. A privately held company, Lancope offers network behavior analytics, threat visibility, and security intelligence software. It sells several products under the brand name StealthWatch. Even before the deal was announced, the two companies had worked together closely, and Rob Salvagno, a Cisco vice president, blogged, "Lancope has been part of Cisco's security solution for many years through a successful commercial relationship." Lancope's staff is joining the Cisco Security Business Group.

  • Cisco Acquires OpenDNS

    Cisco made another big security purchase in June, when it announced plans to acquire OpenDNS for $635 million. The deal closed in August. Like Lancope, OpenDNS sells security intelligence software, but OpenDNS operates on a software-as-a-service model. It was founded in 2006 and boasts 65 million users for its cloud-based enterprise security platform. In a blog post about the deal, Hilton Romanski, Cisco senior vice president, wrote, "The acquisition will extend our ability to provide customers enhanced visibility and threat protection for unmonitored and potentially unsecure entry points into the network, and to quickly and efficiently deploy and integrate these capabilities as part of their defense architecture."

  • EMC Buys Virtustream

    Before Dell announced its plans to acquire EMC, EMC made a big purchase of its own. In May, it began the process of buying cloud computing provider Virtustream for $1.2 billion. At the time, EMC said that it planned to make Virtustream's technology the core of its managed cloud services business. EMC chairman and CEO Joe Tucci touted the deal as a "game changer," adding, "with Virtustream in place, EMC will be uniquely positioned as a single source for our customers' entire hybrid cloud infrastructure and services needs."

  • HP Buys Aruba Networks

    In a deal announced in March and closed in May, HP acquired Aruba Networks for approximately $3 billion. Aruba is known for its wireless LAN technology, and the purchase helped HP (now known as Hewlett Packard Enterprise or HPE) fill out its enterprise mobility portfolio. Aruba became part of the HP Networking business, and Dominic Orr, the former Aruba CEO, took over leadership of the group. In a blog post, Network Computing contributor Lee Badman noted, "HP has a dubious history of not integrating its acquisitions so well, and Aruba's large market share is being watched by competitors for signs of trouble."

  • Intel Acquires Altera

    There were several big chip mergers this year, including Intel's purchase of Altera for $16.7 billion in cash in June. The two companies already had a partnership in place, which had them collaborating on some design and fabrication activities. In a press release, Intel said it planned to use Altera's field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, which is often used for high-performance computing (HPC) systems, to create new data center and Internet of Things (IoT) products. Intel also said it planned to continue development on Altera's ARM-based chips and its power management products.

  • Western Digital To Acquire SanDisk

    In October, Western Digital announced plans to buy SanDisk for $19 billion in cash and stock. The deal joins two of the largest data center storage vendors and makes Western Digital the revenue leader in the storage space. In purchasing SanDisk, Western Digital augmented its SSD product lineup, an area that many analysts had considered something of a weakness for the company.

  • Avago Buys Broadcom

    One of the largest tech mergers of the year was semiconductor manufacturer Avago's acquisition of rival Broadcom. The deal was worth $37 billion and resulted in a company valued at $77 billion. According to EE Times, "the combination of the two companies creates the third-largest semiconductor supplier, trailing only Intel and Qualcomm, if memory integrated-circuit (IC) revenues are excluded." Thanks to this and other acquisitions, Avago quadrupled its size between 2013 and 2015, becoming a major player in the wired and wireless communications IC market. Avago was spun off from Agilent Technologies (itself a spinoff of HP) in 2009.