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The acquisitive EMC Corp. Tuesday snatched up another software provider—this time in the network systems management space—with its agreement to acquire System management ARTS Inc., or Smarts.

The Hopkinton, Mass., storage provider will pony up $260 million in cash for Smarts, which provides event automation and root-cause analysis for faults across networks, servers and applications.

EMC intends to leverage Smarts’ technology to provide improved troubleshooting of faults across SANs (storage area networks), and it intends to use its significant bulk to build the Smarts root-cause analysis business beyond the roughly $60 million in annual revenues it now generates.

Smarts’ flagship InCharge line uses the White Plains, N.Y., company’s patented codebook correlation technology to automatically find the root cause of performance or availability problems and can determine their impact across technology silos.

Smarts delves into the emerging area of IP multicast with new monitoring and managing tools. Click here to read more.

EMC characterized the acquisition as strategic. The company intends to maintain a specialized sales force knowledgeable in Smarts’ existing market.

EMC’s software shopping spree in the last 18 months has netted backup provider Legato, content-management provider Documentum and processor virtualization vendor VMware Inc.

Once the acquisition is finalized some time in the first quarter of next year, EMC will integrate Smarts into its growing software group.

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