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IBM buys Texas Memory Systems to bring on speedy storage

IBM is becoming serious about enterprise-grade computing in more ways than one. It just struck a deal to acquire Texas Memory Systems, best known these days for its extra-quick RamSan SSD cards. As you'd anticipate, that fast yet lean storage is the focus -- IBM wants servers that aren't limited by their drives, or which just use less power than old-fashioned spinning hard disks and tape machines. Neither side is talking about how much the deal is worth, but TMS' product roster should stay on the market even as it's folded into IBM's Smarter Storage initiative. Expect that database at work to suddenly get faster sometime after the acquisition closes later this year.

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IBM Plans to Acquire Texas Memory Systems

Company's high-speed memory solutions to boost IBM's Smarter Computing approach to IT

Armonk, N.Y. - 16 Aug 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a leading developer of high-performance flash memory solutions. TMS is a privately held company based in Houston, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1978, TMS designs and sells high-performance solid state storage solutions. Unlike hard disk drives that rely on spinning disks and robotic arms, solid state systems are high-speed data storage solutions based on Flash or RAM memory that can provide significantly faster throughput and data access while consuming less power.

TMS offers its solid state solutions as the RamSan family of shared rackmount systems and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) cards. The products are designed to help companies improve performance and reduce server sprawl, power consumption, cooling, and floor space requirements, all of which in turn can help clients save money, improve performance and invest more in innovation.

"The TMS strategy and solution set align well with our Smarter Computing approach to information technology by helping clients realize increased performance and efficiencies at lower costs," said Brian Truskowski, general manager, Systems Storage and Networking, IBM. "Solid state technology, in particular, is a critical component of our new Smarter Storage approach to the design and deployment of storage infrastructures, and part of a holistic approach that exploits flash in conjunction with disk and tape technologies to solve complex problems."

IDC estimates the amount of solid state storage solutions being shipped into the enterprise will grow significantly, reaching nearly 3 exabytes by 2016.

Following acquisition close, IBM plans to invest in and support the TMS product portfolio, and will look to integrate over time TMS technologies into a variety of solutions including storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.

"IBM understands the positive and dramatic impact that solid state technology can have on storage and server infrastructures, and once the acquisition is complete we look forward to advancing the technology even further. With the global reach of IBM, we expect to grow the engineering staff and product lines much faster than we could before," said Holly Frost, founder and CEO of TMS.

TMS employs approximately 100 people. The deal is expected to close later in 2012.