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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Just as there is a trend toward convergence of functionality in data center systems these days, there is an equal amount of convergence among entire companies in the data-storage sector.

NetApp on March 9 joined the ranks of companies adding “big data” storage capabilities when it announced the acquisition of LSI Corp.’s Engenio storage systems business in a $480 million, all-cash transaction.

The deal follows by two days Western Digital’s $4.3 billion acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Other recent storage-related deals include Dell’s $980 million annexation of Compellent in December, Hewlett-Packard’s $2.3 billion buy of 3PAR last August and EMC’s $2.5 billion pickup of Isilon last November.

All of those acquired companies produce large-scale, cluster-type storage systems that can handle petabyte-level workloads and server-attached and embedded storage. Engenio, based in Milpitas, Calif., fills this void for NetApp.

"This move opens up a whole new set of workloads for us," NetApp CEO Tom Georgens, who served as LSI president and CEO several years ago, told analysts and media members on a conference call.

"LSI brings a whole new market that we couldn’t have moved into otherwise. This is a strategic storage platform that will allow us to capitalize on new, high-growth opportunities that we don’t currently reach with our FAS [fabric-attached storage] platform."

Georgens said he expects the Engenio acquisition to bring NetApp about $5 billion in total available market "over the next few years," specifically by 2014.

For more, read the eWEEK article: NetApp Buys LSI Storage Division for $480M.