IBM will buy Softek Storage Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

It plans to use Softek's data mobility technology to build more flexible and efficient storage systems for customers of its Global Technology Services division, the company said.

Softek's Transparent Data Migration Facility (TDMF) product can be used to keep data available while moving it from one storage system to another, whether from the same vendor or not. Versions of TDMF exist for Unix and Windows. The company's products are particularly useful when managing a change in infrastructure in a live storage system, IBM said.

Softek was a storage resource management supplier that came out of Fujitsu. It focussed its offering on data migration when the SRM market failed. IBM and Softek have been partners for more than ten years. Softek customers can look forward to "IBM's continued commitment" following the acquisition, Softek chief exec Steven Murphy said.

In addition to IBM, Softek has a strong global network of partners, distributors and resellers. The acquisition
is a coup for Murphy who reshaped the firm after the SRM bubble burst and brought it back to profitability. He's now delivered value to the firm's stockholders in no uncertain fashion. The companies expect the deal to close by the end of March, subject to regulatory approval.

IBM has announced a string of acquisitions in recent months. In December, it said it will buy privately held compliance software vendor Consul Risk Management for an undisclosed sum, while earlier in the year it bought Internet Security Systems (ISS) for $1.3 billion in cash, intending to incorporate it into its Global Technology Services division. It also paid $1.6 billion for enterprise content management company FileNet and $740 million for service management company MRO Software.