By Mark Dexter
14th December 2010

IBM is keeping up with the Joneses, and all for the bargain price of $1.7bn. That's how much its recent purchase of the Massachusetts-based Netezza Corporation set it back, a move that has put IBM on par with Oracle in the burgeoning data management arena.

Oracle's Exadata data warehousing widget was quickly becoming the Rolls Royce of the information storage world. And it was only a matter of time before IBM jumped on the bandwagon. With 6,000 data warehousing consultants on its books already, the Netezza acquisition will re-affirm IBM's place among IT royalty.

The move into data warehousing is a well-travelled one with Microsoft's purchase of Dautaupia and after Hewlett Packard defeated Dell in a bidding war over technology storage firm 3Par this September. And we could see big things from the marriage of IBM and Netezza, with a more integrated, low-maintenance solution set to replace old-school clunky storage systems.

Either way, more choice and competition can only be a good thing, and it remains to be seen whether Oracle's Exadata is knocked off its pedestal as the innovation race gets going. And with tech-players Isiolon, NetApp and CommVault tipped to pique investor interest, the winter sale season has well and truly begun.

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