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Digital tape storage maker Tandberg Data finalized its $28 million acquisition of Exabyte Jan. 3 and announced that it has integrated its former competitor’s VXA-2, VXA-172 and VXA-320 products into its tape drive and tape automation portfolio.

Due to the Aug. 30, 2006, acquisition of essentially all of Exabyte’s intellectual property, Oslo, Norway-based Tandberg also becomes the newest member of the VXA Alliance, an international consortium of tape storage companies dedicated to development of VXA-related products in the marketplace.

VXA is a tape backup system utilizing packet technology to store and retrieve data.

Alliance members include Adaptec, Computer Associates, EMC, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Imation, Ingram Micro, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Sony, Symantec, TDK, Tech Data and TOLIS Group.

As the new owner of Exabyte’s VXA Packet Technology and all intellectual property associated with it, Tandberg reaffirmed its commitment to the roadmap for next-generation VXA products by fully funding product development budgets, a company spokesperson said.

The combined company will conduct business under the Tandberg Data name throughout the world and will continue selling both Tandberg and Exabyte-branded products, including a full line of VXA drives and autoloaders in the U.S. channel, the spokesperson said.

Read more here about Tandberg’s acquisition of Exabyte.

“Our engineers thoroughly evaluated VXA Packet Technology, and we clearly recognized the benefits and value of the VXA platform as well as its potential in the worldwide SMB market. It was a significant factor in our decision to acquire Exabyte,” said Tandberg Data CEO Gudmundur Einarsson.

“With greater global reach, a stronger U.S. channel, and a product portfolio that now includes VXA drives and automation, Tandberg Data is well positioned to provide customers and partners even greater value.”

Planning and development of the fourth generation of VXA Packet Technology has been ongoing since the release of VXA-320, the spokesperson said. Product development is fully funded in the company’s 2007 budget, which includes additional engineering resources from Oslo, to support former Exabyte operations in Boulder, Colo.

According to the product roadmap, fourth-generation VXA products will double performance to a data capacity of 320/640 GB (native/compressed) and a data transfer rate of 24/48 M bps, the spokesperson said.

“Our next-generation VXA products are on schedule for release in the second half of 2008,” said Tandberg COO Tom Ward, former president and CEO of Exabyte.

“This is well within our planned window and matches the timeframe our OEM customers will be ready for VXA’s next step up in capacity and speed.”

With the Exabyte deal now complete, Tandberg Data is expected to reach worldwide revenue of approximately $200 million for 2006, establishing the Norwegian company as the second-largest player in the data storage industry (OEMs not included), the spokesperson said.

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