IBM has bought privately held XIV, an up-and-coming Israel-based manufacturer of SAN equipment, for an undisclosed sum. XIV’s flagship product, the Nextra, offers high-end features such as unlimited snapshots, I/O load-balancing, and automatic configuration. All these features can be deployed on relatively inexpensive commodity hardware.

According to analysts, the main reason for the buy could be linked to IBM’s desire to add XIV Chairman Moshe Yanai to its team. Formally from EMC, he is credited with designing and building the first Symmetrix system and is considered one of the leading storage system architects in the world.

Excerpt from eWeek:

With Yanai safely within the Armonk, N.Y., giant’s domain, Big Blue now has a powerful thought leader for developing future products in the burgeoning data storage market.

Additional reading:

Reports in the Israeli financial press earlier this week valued the acquisition at between $300 million to $350 million. The 50 staff on XIV’s team will join IBM’s system storage business unit.