Sun Microsystems is to buy patch management specialist Aduva, whose OnStage software helps automate the deployment of software patches to Linux and Solaris-based computers.

"Our customers - and this is an industry-wide problem - cite patch management and configuration management as the number one problem in their environment," said Mike Harding, Sun's vice president, customer network services. "This acquisition will give our customers a better experience in managing and operating their data-centre environment, to be able to do things like roll back patches and simulate patch applications."

The acquisition aligns with Sun's overall software-as-a-service strategy, Harding said.

Sun will offer Aduva's technology both as part of the Sun Grid hosted software service and as application for use in an enterprise.

The deal is expected to close in Sun's fourth quarter, which begins on 27 March. Financial terms were not disclosed.