EMC has bought network-attached storage management supplier Rainfinity and intellectual property assets from Maranti, a failing intelligent switch vendor that was looking for a buyer.

EMC paid under $100 million for San Jose-based Rainfinity. The company virtualises network-attached storage (NAS) with its RainStorage network file virtualisation platform. RainStorage was made available through EMC's Select Program in March this year.

With the purchase EMC will compete more effectively with arch NAS rival Network Appliance. Customers will be better able to manage tens and hundreds of NAS boxes, both from EMC and other suppliers. NetApp, which also has a virtualisation capability, uses NuView software for management of its NAS devices and is developing product based on its Spinnaker acquisition.

Competing suppliers include Acopia, ONStor and Exanet.

Maranti
With Maranti now all but defunct that's four independent intelligent switch makers or their IP assets bought. Previously Sun has bought Pirus, McDATA Sanera and Brocade Rhapsody. But EMC said it's not getting into the intelligent switch business - odd that. Why buy the company's IP assets?

Intelligent storage switches sit in the storage network and virtualise disk storage as a foundation layer for storage applications such as data replication, backup to tape, migration to new arrays and so forth.

It looks as if Maranti IP will end up in EMC's soon-to-be-shipped InVista disk virtualisation software that runs on intelligent switches from Cisco and McDATA. The Maranti software could add replication, snapshot copy and mirroring which InVista is said to lack.