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Red Hat Buys Sistina for $31m in Stock

Red Hat Buys Sistina for $31m in Stock

Red Hat is buying storage infrastructure software house Sistina Software for $31 million in stock to provide Red Hat customers with a path to virtualization and vendor-independent storage solutions, it said Thursday when it posted its fiscal Q3 results.

Red Hat said it has been under pressure for a year to put a stake in ground in storage. It also repeatedly suggested that it was interested in making more acquisitions for stock, not necessarily in storage, and scaling its presence outside the US. Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik is taking a jaunt to India in three weeks to look at a potential property.

PolyServe Inc sniffed that its technology is better than Sistina's and that it's got a substantial lead in product development, not to mention a competitive advantage in supporting the mission-critical data center since it's got 300 mission-critical clients like the Defense Department.

Sistina's product development decision has relegated it, PolyServe claimed, to a small portion of the workloads in most mission-critical data centers. The few customers Sistina's got for its global file system have been limited to scientific or numerical computing applications where the rigors of commercial workloads don't exist.

PolyServe, which claims to have a "true" symmetric cluster file system that doesn't mean each server's got to have its own copy of data on a SAN, figures "tens of millions of dollars of R&D investment and at least two years of time will be required to rework Sistina's product for the mission-critical enterprise market."

PolyServe also claims to have done far more to advance Linux, like demonstrating the world's biggest clustered Oracle database on a Linux proof-of-concept last year.

Anyway, the Sistina purchase should close in January.

Sistina's wares include Sistina GFA a scalable file system, Logical Volume Manager, a Linux building block that does enterprise-level disk volume management by grouping arbitrary physical desks into virtual disk volumes and Sistina GFS for Oracle9i RAC meant to make the database stuff easier to implement and maintain. Merrill Lynch has previously thought Sistina was driving towards a blade operating system.

Over time, Red Hat, which said it would move Sistina to a pure open source model and put it on a subscription footing in the first half, expects to blend the outfit's capabilities in with its own clustering, networking and management. Szulik made it clear deployment was an increasing concern.

Sistina raised $21.5 million in financing, most recently a $1.5 million investment from SAP. Other backers include Cresendo Ventures, Validus Partners, and St Paul Venture Capital.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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