Emulex is buying intelligent storage processor vendor Aarohi for $39 million, to get access to technology used in the heart of storage area network (SAN) fabrics.

Aarohi started up in 2001 and its products are used by suppliers such as McData to provide an intelligent platform alongside its Intrepid director-class switches. The Aarohi intelligent Storage Processor (ISP) and FabricStream software are inside McData's Application Services Module (ASM) box used to provide storage migration, provision, replication and protection from the SAN fabric.

Emulex makes host bus adapters (HBA), SAN routers and intelligent switches used inside Fibre Channel disk arrays. Its products run between servers and the SAN fabric, and between disk drives in SAN arrays and the array controller. It also provides routers to link SANs together.

By buying Aarohi it can now add products inside the SAN fabric to its mix, and also provide a similar intelligent storage processor for IP SANs. These use Ethernet and there is no equivalent in IP SANs to the Fibre Channel switches and directors. Instead Emulex can provide Aarohi-based boxes either at the server end of an Ethernet IP SAN or the drive array end.

Aarohi consists of approximately 72 employees, primarily engineers, based in both San Jose, California, and Bangalore, India.

Emulex CEO and chairman, Paul Folino, said: "The acquisition of Aarohi will expand Emulex's reach in the data centre networking arena, which includes 10 Gbit/s iSCSI, high performance server clustering and the acceleration of Ethernet-based network traffic. This acquisition will also provide Emulex with an industry-leading suite of building blocks for intelligent storage platforms that enable storage virtualization applications and accommodate a variety of advanced storage and networking applications."

John Kelley, McData's chairman and CEO, said: "Customers around the world are seeing the advantages of moving costly functions from servers and storage arrays into the network and this partnership will enable McData to deliver more advanced services to our customers."

Emulex expects the acquisition to be completed quite quickly; on or near May 1. For more detail read our analysis.