IBM has acquired Princeton Softech to add data archiving, classification and discovery products to its own data management suite.

Princeton Softech's products help customers improve database performance by separating historical data from current data and storing it securely and cost effectively, IBM said. Its test data management technology helps keep data private by creating test databases that mask and protect sensitive data.

An IBM spokeswoman said the company expects the acquisition to contribute to revenue in IBM's database business. The acquisition is the 22nd related to IBM's Information On Demand strategy, which has a goal of helping "organisations leverage their information to better know customers, speed products to market, manage risks, keep ahead of competition, and foster innovation."

The acquisition is the sixth by IBM in the past two years focused on reducing data management costs. In 2005, it acquired DWL and SRD; in 2006 IBM bought FileNet and Unicorn Solutions; and just last month IBM added DataMirror to its portfolio.

The Princeton Softech products will become part of IBM's Software Group's Information Management Software division. The company's products compete with those from Solix and Outerbay (acquired by HP in 2006).

"As data retention needs intensify, customers are looking for ways to slash their escalating operating costs and maintain system responsiveness, while protecting the privacy of customer and employee information," IBM stated in a press release. "Many organisations are finding that storage management is now or will soon represent greater than 50 percent of their annual IT budget."

Princeton Softech has approximately 240 employees and 2,200 customers. Among its customers are British Telecom, Safeco Insurance and American Airlines.