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The Battle For the Cloud heats Up : IBM Buys Another Israeli Company for $20 million


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/ By Clive Minchom /

IBM today announced it has completed the acquisition of CSL International, a leading provider of virtualization management technology for IBM’s zEnterprise System, part of its portfolio of cloud computing solutions. CSL International is a privately held company headquartered in Herzliya Pituach, Israel.

Financial terms were not disclosed but sources close to the transaction indicate the price may be in the US$20 million ballpark.

The CSL purchase comes on the heels of the announcement two weeks ago that IBM was buying Israeli cloud security and anti-fraud company  for more than US$800 million, which we covered in detail when it was announced here.



CSL was already a current IBM partner in cloud services, and its acquisition deepens the consolidation and cloud capabilities of IBM’s zEnterprise technology by offering simplified set up and management of the virtualization environment. Virtualization is one of the key foundations of cloud computing, and has been designed into the fabric of IBM’s zEnterprise System z architecture since its original inception. IBM offers expansive scalability with a shared-everything design point for maximum utilization – up to 100 percent – of computing resources. This announcement further extends the value of IBM’s cloud offerings.

CSL’s CSL-WAVE is a leading solution for z/VM and Linux on System z management, simplification and automation. CSL International’s CSL-WAVE software enables clients to monitor and manage the environments using a powerful drag and drop interface. The software was already planned to become part of the IBM zEnterprise portfolio in early 2014.

IBM are certainly happy with their new acquisition, as explained by Patrick Toole, General Manager, IBM System z. “Around the world, companies of all sizes rely on IBM zEnterprise Systems for their efficiency, reliability and security” … he said… “With CSL-WAVE software in our portfolio, it will be easier for new and existing clients to set up and manage clouds on the mainframe, enabling them to provide enhanced services and support around big data, analytics and mobile to their customers.”


The big computing, network equipment, and corporate software suite giants, such as IBM, Cisco, SAP and Oracle are all vying for a major piece of the latest computing trend known as cloud computing. What it means to the average corporate IT department customer, however, may just mean cheaper, whereby computing resource needs, including software, are simply sublet out to server farms and are not owned by their own corporations, with investment capital as well as efficiency savings as a result. This has been a feature of the computing industry for several decades, where out-sourcing and subsequent reintroduced in-sourcing have gone in and out of fashion several times, as relative costs have changed at differing times.

Today though it has become a little different and private clouds are also becoming popular, with Disney going off and making their own, for example. If you are a big enough company you can then offer such virtualized solutions to your own divisions, still keep it all in house and pocket the savings yourself.

IBM has long been at the center of such trends and today they are very much playing to win. With the Trusteer, and now CSL acquisitions as evidence of this they are adding any missing components they need one piece at a time, to continue to offer a complete portfolio of services to their customers. IBM also acquired web hosting services company SoftLayer recently, for similar reasons.

Traditional computing hardware giants like IBM are mindful too of the interlopers out there who would like to break in, including AWS – Amazon Web Services who are coming at it from the periphery and are keen just to buy customers at the outset. Given their own need for massive server farms to service their own merchandising businesses this has been a logical step for Amazon to take.

In America we call it competition, it keeps everyone on their toes and it is wonderful.




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