Hottest tech M&A deals of 2009

Our running list of buyouts and mergers in IT for the year

A summary of who did the buying, who got bought, how much they went for and why. We'll be updating as more deals are made.

ActivIdentity acquires CoreStreet

Why: CoreSteet's public-key infrastructure technologies and physical-control products are said to complement ActivIdentity's authentication and credential management products.

Related story: ActivIdentity acquires CoreStreet in $20 million deal

IBM buying Lombardi

Why: IBM executives say Lombardi fills out Big Blue's portfolio in business process management and integration software. Lombardi's department-level approach complements IBM's enterprise-wide process management software and allows IBM to provide customers with an end-to-end, integrated solution for automating human tasks and workflows.

Related story: IBM buying BPM vendor Lombardi

Microsoft buys Opalis

Why: Microsoft bought the IT automation vendor Opalis to fill a gap in its cloud management platform, which is in the very early stages of development. The tools will help users avoid virtual server sprawl and are looked at as a foundational element for automation needed to deliver cloud computing. Microsoft will eventually brand the Opalis tools under its System Center portfolio. The tools complement Microsoft's strategy to stretch its management tools across on-premises environments and the cloud.

Related story: Microsoft buys Opalis to strengthen cloud management capabilities

Microsoft buys Sentillion

Why: Microsoft boosted its portfolio of healthcare software with plans to buy Sentillion, which develops single sign-on software. Microsoft plans to combine Sentillion technology with its own Amalga Unified Intelligence System to pull together more real-time information about patients. Sentillion's single sign-on lets a physician sign in once to gain access a multiple applications ranging from Web-based, Windows-based and legacy systems.

Related story: Microsoft buys healthcare software company

ibm buys guardium

Why: IBM bought Guardium, which specializes in real-time database monitoring software to determine that only authorized users gain access to information stored in databases, in order to expand its portfolio in this area and add to IBM's ability to provide analytics about IT business processes.

Related story: IBM buys database security firm Guardium

Cisco buys Starent

Why: With huge customers like Verizon and AT&T adopting LTE for their 4G wireless networks, Cisco needed a credible LTE strategy beyond the gateways it was developing, and the 4G WiMAX direction it was heading with the Navini Networks acquisition and Clearwire engagement. Starent makes gateways for various radio technologies including LTE, but clearly sees LTE as the 4G future.

Related story: Cisco to acquire Starent for $2.9 billion

Google buys Gizmo5

Why: Bolsters Google's growing voice offerings, including Google Voice. Gizmo5 offers VoIP software for mobile phones and computers.

Related story: Google buys Gizmo5 Internet calling service

HP buys 3Com

Why: Strengthens HP's converged data center product portfolio, particularly at the core Ethernet switch level, but also in security and wireless networking. In addition, the deal opens up opportunities in China, where 3Com has a large presence.

Related stories: HP buying 3Com in $2.7 billion blockbuster

3Com co-founder Metcalfe's quick take on HP-3Com deal

Logitech buys lifesize

Why: Logitech, whose video business is focused mainly on webcams, hopes the deal will allow it to offer video communications systems for other settings besides the desktop, it said. LifeSize targets a wide range of customers including enterprises that want installations in their boardrooms, small and midsized businesses, and home office workers.

Related story: Logitech to buy HD video company for $405 million

google to buy admob

Why: Google and its competitors including Yahoo and Microsoft have been competing to gain traction in the mobile market, which they see as having potential for significant revenue streams. In a statement, Google said that AdMob has made "exceptional progress" so far in the mobile advertising market.

Related story: Google to buy mobile ad company

Cisco buys ScanSafe

Why: ScanSafe will allow Cisco to enter the market for hosted, software-as-a-service-based Web security. It will augment Cisco's on premises Web security appliance offerings obtained from its 2007 acquisition of IronPort.

Related story: Cisco buying Web security firm ScanSafe for $183 million

Equinix buys Switch & Data

Why: The acquisition will help Equinix address two key trends: the growing demand for online data, and the aggregation and distribution of enterprise resources, the companies said. Equinix will gain data-center space in 16 new markets, including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Seattle and Toronto, while Switch & Data customers will gain overseas reach.

Related story: Equinix expands data centers through buyout

Ixia acquires Agilent

Why: Ixia will acquire Agilent's network testing product line, customers, sales and R&D teams and intends to enhance, develop and support the N2X product line through 2015.

Related story: Ixia to buy Agilent Technologies' N2X data network testing product line

Rapid7 buys Metasploit

Why: Metasploit's knowledge of exploits against business networks will help strengthen Rapid7's NeXpose vulnerability-management software.

Related story: Open source security project could get a boost with Metasploit buy

BMC buys Tideway

Why: BMC will incorporate Tideway's Foundation product, which provides a map of a company's applications and the underlying infrastructure that supports them, into its Atrium Configuration Management Database product that aggregates information about data center components into a federated repository.

Related story: BMC buys Tideway for component tracking tools

Emerson Electric acquires Avocent

Why: Emerson Electric, a manufacturing and technology services company, acquired the network equipment and management software maker (Avocent acquired LANDesk in 2007) to offer its customers better technology to manage data centers.

Related story: Emerson to acquire Avocent

Cisco buys Tandberg

Why: Having struggled in attempting to push its own TelePresence high-definition imaging systems downmarket, Cisco acquires the market leader in videoconferencing to drive bandwidth consumption and stoke demand for its routers and switches.

Related story: Cisco struggle to move TelePresence down market prompts Tandberg buyout

Xerox buys ACS

Why: Purchasing business process outsourcer ACS will allow Xerox to triple its services revenue from $3.5 billion in 2008 to $10 billion in 2010, the company says.

Related story: Xerox will buy business process outsourcer ACS for $6.4B

Dell buys Perot Systems

Why: Dell improves its IT services capabilities and gains further entry into growing markets such as healthcare and government.

Related story: FAQ: What the Dell-Perot merger means for the IT industry

CA buys Cassatt

Why: CA says the intellectual property assets and key executives from Cassatt will help further CA's data center automation products with intelligent optimization capabilities

Related story: CA plucks automation assets from struggling Cassatt

Symark buys Beyond Trust

Why: Combining products for Windows-based and Linux/Unix-based access control.

Related story: Access control vendors unite to tackle Linux, Unix and Windows

Trustwave buys Vericept

Why: Adding data-loss prevention to its product portfolio.

Related story: Oops, there goes another data-loss prevention vendor

EMC buys FastScale

Why: Will enable EMC to focus on increasing the performance and scalability of private clouds.

Related story: EMC acquires cloud support vendor FastScale

Intel buys RapidMind

Why: To exploit RapidMind's software designed to make it easier for applications developers to build programs that take advantage of multicore processors from Intel and others.

Related story: Intel acquires software company RapidMind

Research in Motion buys Torch Mobile

Why: Torch Mobile specializes in developing mobile Web browsers, RSS readers and widget platforms. The company's flagship product is its Iris Browser that is specifically designed for mobile phones, set-top boxes and ultra-mobile PCs. By acquiring Torch Mobile, RIM is looking to boost its users' Web browsing experience

BMC buys MQSoftware

Why: MQSoftware sells products for managing WebSphere MQ implementations and analyzing the flow of transactions through the systems. Deal gives BMC a stronger sell into companies working on SOA projects.

Related story: BMC buys MQSoftware, bolstering middleware management

Extreme acquires Soapstone

Why: Gains control plane software for Carrier Ethernet networks.

Related story: Extreme acquires Soapstone software

Ericsson bids on Nortel wireless

Why: Enables expansion of Ericsson’s presence in North American wireless markets

Related story: Ericsson's winning Nortel bid to strengthen its North American presence

Fluke buys AirMagnet

Why: Fluke fleshes out its network offerings with a suite of well-accepted Wi-Fi management, monitoring, security tools.

Related story: Fluke Networks to buy AirMagnet

Xora and Gearworks merge

Why: Xora expands its location-enabling mobile middleware and applications with Gearworks' field force management mobile applications and links with carrier-based location services, device management and billing systems.

Related story: Xora and Gearworks merge

IBM buys SPSS

Why: Boosts IBM's analytics software with predictive analytics tools that help companies mine historical business data to identify future trends.

Related story: IBM to pay $1.2B for analytics developer SPSS

HP buys Ibrix

Why: Bolsters HP's file serving software for extreme scale-out, cloud and high-performance storage computing environments.

Related story: HP storage scales up with Ibrix buy

EMC buys Data Domain

Why: Boosts EMC's backup and de-duplication capabilities; defeats rival NetApp in bidding war for coveted technology.

Related story: NetApp quits bidding war in face of EMC opposition

EMC buys Configuresoft

Why: EMC will add Configuresoft server configuration, change and compliance management software to its Resource Management software portfolio, enabling customers to automate visibility and control across physical and virtual data centers.

Related story: EMC inks deal to acquire Configuresoft

Avaya buys Agile Software

Why: Avaya already OEMd Agile's contact center software, selling it as Contact Center Express for midsize businesses. By owning the software outright, Avaya hopes to develop new features more quickly and better integrate it with other Avaya products.

Related story: Avaya buys Agile to control contact center software

Nimsoft buys Cittio

Why: Nimsoft will incorporate Cittio's Layer 2/Layer 3 topology, network mapping and root-cause analysis capabilities to its IT service management and business service management product portfolio.

Related story: Nimsoft acquires the assets of Cittio

McAfee buys Solidcore Systems

Why: Solidcore's whitelisting and security-controls product line gives McAfee new technologies and access to new markets. More pricing information: $33 million plus possible $14 additional.

Related story: McAfee buying Solidcore for whitelisting technology

Ixia buysCatapult Communications

Why: Ixia will add Catapult's 3G and 4G wireless networking test solutions to its own IP performance test systems and service verification platforms.

Acme Packet buys Covergence

Why: Andy Ory, Acme Packet's CEO, says: "With the acquisition of Covergence, Acme Packet accelerates its ability to now satisfy the SIP trunking [session border controller] requirements of enterprise small offices and remote sites."

Related story: Acme Packet buys Covergence

SAP buys Highdeal

Why: Highdeal makes software that helps companies define business models for services then bill for them in real time. SAP plans to integrate Highdeal's software with its own billing tools to offer event-driven real-time rating and charging options.

Related story: SAP buys Highdeal for its pricing and rating software

Open Text buys Vignette

Why: Further consolidates the content management market. Autonomy recently announced its intentions to buy Open Text's rival Interwoven for $775 million.

Related story: Open Text acquiring Vignette

Micro Focus buys Borland

Why: Micro Focus, a developer of enterprise application modernization and management software in the United Kingdom, hopes the purchases will help it to enlarge its share of the automated software quality assurance market, which it says is worth more than $2 billion annually.

Related story: Micro Focus buys Borland Software for $75 million

Why: After a two-year partnership in which Trend integrated Third Brigade's host-based intrusion prevention/firewall software into Trend security products, Trend is making Third Brigade a strategic acquisition to assist in its data-center vision.

Related story: Trend Micro acquiring Third Brigade in IT security deal

Oracle buys Sun Microsystems

Why: Oracle enters the hardware market, and gains a strong foothold in the open source software market with products such as Java and MySQL.

Related stories: The downfall of Sun Microsystems | Oracle's Sun buy: Ellison praises Solaris, snubs IBM | Sun deal revives Oracle's Network Computer dream

Why: SOA and data center application management and automation software

Related story: Cisco to buy Tidal Software for $105 million

Why: SGI had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; deal expands Rackable's product portfolio in the high-performance computing (HPC) market.

Related story: Rackable buying SGI for $25 million

Azaleos and M3Technology

Why: Brings together managed service providers, which have merged their operations around remote management of Microsoft Exchange. The two companies will have network operation centers on the East Coast, where M3 is headquartered, and the West Coast, where Azaleos is located.

Related story: Microsoft Exchange service providers merge

NitroSecurity and ChronicleSolutions

Why: To integrate Chronicle's application protocol monitoring technology with NitroSecurity's security information event management and database activity monitoring products.

More info here

Versata Enterprises acquires AlterPoint

Why: Existing AlterPoint investors sold shares to Versata when AlterPoint saught additional funding to further develop its network change and configuration management technology. The acquisition will enable AlterPoint to operate as a stand-alone entity with access to financial and other resources from parent company Versata.

Related story: Versata Enterprises acquires AlterPoint

Trustwave buys NAC vendor Mirage

Why: Expands Trustwave's managed security services offerings to include NAC, initially supported by Mirage appliances, but later integrted into Trustwave's multi-function security platform.

Related story: Trustwave buys NAC vendor Mirage

Motorola sells Good Technology to Visto

Why: Expands Visto beyond mobile push synchronization software into secure wireless messaging and handheld device management.

Related story: Motorola sells Good Technology to Visto

Oracle buys mValent

Why: Enables Oracle to add innovative application configuration management and automated remediation capabilities from mValent's Integrity platform into its Enterprise Management product to help customers improve operational productivity, enhance audit and governance efforts and better guarantee application uptime

Related Story: Oracle to acquire management player mValent

Lenovo buys Switchbox Labs

Why: Computer maker Lenovo said Switchbox (co-founded by an ex-Microsoft Windows exec)  is developing "new consumer technologies," but details about its projects are largely a mystery. Its development work will continue at Lenovo, which said it hopes to integrate the company's technology in future products.

Related story: Lenovo buys mystery startup company

Barracuda buys Yosemite

Why: Enhances the capabilities of Barracuda's data backup product, allowing incremental backups of applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server, as well as Windows system states.

Related story: Backup merger unites Barracuda, Yosemite

GlassHouse Technologies buys CSSG

Why: The acquisition of security services consulting company CSSG lets GlassHouse boost its IT infrastructure consulting business with new data security services, such as assessments, optimization and policy framework development.

Archer Technologies buys Brabeion Software

Why: Expands Archer's enterprise governance, risk and compliance products with Brabeion's content library technology, spun out of PricewaterhouseCoopers, to offer customers more than 130 compliance baselines and controls.

Related story: Acquisition unites risk and compliance competitors

Websense buys Defensio

Why: Websense sees a future in the Defensio service for cleaning Web sites of spam and malicious content in forums, as comment to blogs and anywhere user-created content can be posted.

Related story: Websense buys Defensio to keep user-generated content clean

Autonomy buys Interwoven

Why: Autonomy is a U.K.-based enterprise search and e-discovery vendor and Interwoven is a maker of content management software. Combined, the vendors will have more than 20,000 customers, and will constitute "the largest company dedicated to the legal information management industry," according to a statement.

Related story: Autonomy to acquire Interwoven in $775M deal

VeriSign buys Certicom

Why: Armed with Certicom's ECC public-key encryption technology and its own SSL business, VeriSign expects to be able to enter new markets, it said. VeriSign's bid came after a hostile one by Research in Motion fell apart.

Related story: VeriSign buys Certicom after RIM withdraws bid

AVG buys Sana Security

Why: Adds behavioral-based malware detection to AVG's arsenal of antivirus products.

Related story: AVG acquires behavioral detection security company

Sun buys Q-layer

Why: Improves Sun's cloud computing capabilities with technology that automates the deployment and management of public and private clouds.

Related story: Sun buys cloud-computing vendor Q-layer

Force 10 buys Turin

Why: Expands the range of products for enterprise data centers and service providers; creates operational efficiencies and market focus in two high growth networking segments; forms larger, more diversified company to better compete with Cisco and others.

Related story: Force 10, Turin Networks merging

EMC buys SourceLabs

Why: EMC acquired some of SourceLabs assets and hired some of its employees to bolster its cloud storage business which provides the infrastructure to large companies building and delivering Internet-based applications on a massive scale. SourceLabs makes support and management tools for Linux and open source software.

Related story: EMC buys parts of SourceLabs to bolster cloud strategy

SolarWinds buys Kiwi Enterprises

Why: Gives SolarWinds syslog management capabilities to rival stand-alone log management tools from vendors such as LogLogic and LogRhythm. Adds more freeware via Kiwi's free tools to SolarWinds roster of no-cost tools, often used as a selling point into larger enterprise accounts.

Related story: SolarWinds acquires Kiwi Enterprises

CA buys Orchestria

Why: Adds Orchestria's data leak prevention technology to CA's identity and access management product suites, enabling CA to better secure content and address compliance requirements for enterprise IT customers. The buy not only gives CA a potential edge over primary ID management competitors IBM and Oracle, but it also pits the company's security products against those from Symantec with the technology it acquired with upstart Vontu in 2007.

Related story: CA to buy data-leak prevention vendor