EMC is acquiring Acxiom's grid-computing software for $30 million and will combine it with its own products for storage, information, and resource management. EMC and Acxiom, which will retain rights to continue using the software under the deal announced Thursday, also will jointly develop grid-based information and data analysis packages for Acxiom customers.
The partnership could provide a boost to the adoption of grid computing.
Acxiom has been developing the grid computing middleware since 2001 to help it manage the thousands of servers that power the company's information management and data analysis services. The company maintains huge databases of consumer information that it sells to banks, credit rating services, and other business customers.
The proprietary technology, which Acxiom calls the Customer Information Infrastructure, allows servers to be organized into groups dedicated to specific jobs or used as a shared resource for multiple jobs. The grid technology currently supports the data integration, management, and analysis services Acxiom provides to some 60 corporate customers, says Rich Howe, Acxiom's chief marketing officer and chief strategist.
The grid middleware includes grid system, data, and workflow management tools, a workload scheduler, and monitoring and control systems, says Ian Baird, EMC's chief technology officer for grid and utility computing. "This is the best, most complete, and most broadly integrated grid technology that we've seen anywhere," he says.