HP is acquiring a storage software company that the company says will give it important leverage in the enterprise-class network-attached storage (NAS) market.

HP on Monday signed a definitive agreement to acquire PolyServe of Beaverton, Oregon, but did not disclose the terms of the transaction. PolyServe has 117 employees.

With PolyServe's software, information from file or database servers can be consolidated into a single, shared pool of storage that is highly available and can be expanded to match business demands, HP said in a news release.

PolyServe, founded in 1999, has been an HP partner for the last two years. Its software can run on HP's storage arrays and Proliant servers in Linux and Microsoft Corp. Windows environments. The acquisition also means HP can run PolyServe software on NAS blade servers. Blades are the fastest growing segment of the server industry.

HP placed second to EMC in storage hardware revenue in the third quarter of 2006, according to a report from IDC.

HP held 17.6 percent of the worldwide market in the third quarter with sales of US$760 million, while EMC lead with a 21.4 percent share on revenue of $927 million.