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Cloud computing specialists snapped up

Less than a week after VMware announced plans to spend $1.26bn to acquire Nicira, the cloud computing network virtualisation specialist, Oracle has agreed to buy Xsigo, another supplier of network virtualisation technology, for an undisclosed sum.

Xsigo claims several hundred business customers including British Telecom, eBay, SoftBank and Verizon, while Nicira counts AT&T, NTT and Rackspace among its existing users.

The two deals highlight just how fast the market for virtualisation software is consolidating and the growing importance for companies such as VMware and Oracle to be able to provide their customers with a full suite of virtualisation tools.

These tools enable companies to dynamically manage their computing resources including physical infrastructure more easily, and increase or reduce capacity quickly simplifying operations and reducing costs.

Xsigo's software-defined networking technology simplifies cloud infrastructure and data centre operations allowing customers to connect any server to any network and storage on demand, thereby increasing utilisation and application performance while reducing cost.

The combination of Xsigo network virtualisation software and Oracle's existing server virtualisation technology will enable Oracle to deliver a complete set of virtualisation capabilities for cloud-based computing.

"The proliferation of virtualised servers in the last few years has made the virtualisation of the supporting network connections essential," said John Fowler, Oracle's executive vice president of systems. "With Xsigo, customers can reduce the complexity and simplify management of their clouds by delivering compute, storage and network resources that can be dynamically reallocated on-demand."

Lloyd Carney, Xsigo chief executive, added: "Customers are focused on reducing costs and improving utilisation of their network. Virtualisation of these resources allows customers to scale compute and storage for their public and private clouds while matching network capacity as demand dictates."

Just last week, Oracle launched an upgrade to its "cloud-in-a-box" Exalogic technology, adding server virtualisation capabilities that make it easier for customers to add or reduce capacity.

Oracle has made four other acquisitions in the past three months – three in the social networking field and one designed to boost its cloud-based project portfolio management capabilities.

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