HP to buy LeftHand Networks

SAN provider to be acquired

Hewlett-Packard will buy LeftHand Networks for US$360 million (NZ4535 million) to fill in its storage virtualisation and iSCSI lines with products for medium-size companies and remote offices and branches.

LeftHand was an early developer of SANs (storage area networks) built around iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface). It sells software that runs on existing storage and industry-standard server platforms. The purchase agreement is expected to close in HP's fiscal 2009 first quarter.

SANs and storage virtualization help organisations centralise their storage capacity and allocate it as needed, potentially cutting costs and energy consumption. LeftHand will help HP extend its virtualisation offerings to the mid-market. Among the features of LeftHand's products are data replication for backup and disaster recovery, and an "intelligent cloning technology" that can reduce the amount of required disk space by as much as 97%, the companies say.

LeftHand's products already work with many of HP's, including Proliant servers, BladeSystem platforms, ProCurve networks and Insight Control management software.

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