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IBM acquires DataPower Technology for XML acceleration

Posted: 20 Oct 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ibm  datapower  xml acceleration  xml 

IBM Corp. has acquired DataPower Technology (Cambridge, Mass.), removing from the field one of the last independent startups in XML acceleration.

Following last summer's acquisition of Sarvega by Intel Corp., the deal leaves only Tarari Inc. as a chip and software player, and Solace Systems Inc. as a developer of full XML server accelerator systems.

Terms of the IBM deal were not disclosed.

IBM had concluded deals with DataPower to develop board-level acceleration solutions compatible with the BladeServer format, but decided to acquire DataPower to put its server business closer to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts based on application-layer protocols like XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).

DataPower CEO Jim Ricotta will continue to oversee DataPower's operations, as well as managing elements of IBM's WebSphere business. The WebSphere group is oriented primarily to software aspects of the SOA model, while DataPower is heavily hardware-oriented.

IBM said it planned no layoffs among DataPower's 70 employees, and has pledged to continue offering add-in cards in formats other than BladeServer.

Three years ago, the acceleration of XML operations was foreseen as a business requiring its own breed of network processing, giving rise to such startups as DataPower, Tarari, and Sarvega. But the continued use of legacy messaging and publish-subscribe protocols caused the XML acceleration services of giants like Cisco Systems Inc.'s Application-Oriented Networking, to be reoriented to a wider array of application-layer acceleration.

Meanwhile, the market for a system-level message router attracted Canadian startup Solace Systems Inc., which elected to use proprietary silicon and its own real-time OS in developing the 3200 message router.

Larry Neumann, vice president of marketing at Solace Systems, called IBM's acquisition of DataPower "further validation that hardware is the way to deal with XML network application traffic, which struggles to perform in software."

He added that even though smaller specialists are being swallowed, IBM's acquisition underscores the importance of the overall SOA market.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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