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IBM today added a new level of sophistication to its Unix and Linux servers by acquiring privately held software maker Meiosys.

Meiosys has three products aimed at improving the way applications can be shuffled between groups of servers - MetaCluster UC, HPC and FT. Such software belongs to a growing class of "virtualization" packages which lessen the strong ties between specific servers and software combinations. In general, start-ups and big vendors alike want customers to be able to move applications around their data centers as they see fit, depending on system crashes or sudden spikes in demand.

"The state-of-the-art application-relocation capabilities and fault-tolerant technology from Meiosys complement IBM's current systems software offerings," said Rod Adkins, a VP at IBM. "This acquisition gives IBM the ability to provide even more innovative capabilities for Unix and Linux, and will help advance our information on demand strategy and virtualization capabilities for clients."

IBM did not release financial figures surrounding the deal.

Meiosys came to life in 2001 and has been backed by the likes of Cisco Systems, BayTech Venture Capital and Wellington Partners. It has offices in Palo Alto, California and Toulouse, France and close to 30 staffers.

A good example of Meiosys' niche can be seen in an announcement put out in February of this year. Using MetaCluster UC 3.0, Meiosys managed to move a three-tier Oracle database running on Sun Microsystems' SunOne Application Server from one server to another without any noticeable disruption. The database and application server were being used to run a Web-based retail application.

You can imagine where IBM would use such software to complement its strength in financial services, retail, manufacturing and similar markets.

Meiosys counts all the major servers makers as its partners.

IBM plans to build the Meiosys technology into its own software packages and to release such code in the second half of this year. The Meiosys software currently works with IBM's Tivoli Provisioning Manager. ®

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