'Tis the season to acquire,\nFa-la-la-la-la, la la la la!\n"M and A" budgets don't expire,\nFa-la-la-la-la, la la la la!'Tis the season to acquire,Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la la!"M and A" budgets don't expire,Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la la!Buy before valuation increases,Fa-la-la la-la-la, la la la!Technology comes in bite-sized pieces!Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la LAAA ...OK, I admit it barely scans, but the Ferengi have been out in force this season and really, these days you can't tell the players without a scorecard - and a recently updated one at that. So it's time to look at the latest round of industry restructuring. Besides, where else but here - at the industry's nexus of technology and aesthetics - can you come away with the sure-to-be-therapeutic feeling that maybe your own poetry might not be so bad after all?In no particular order, the key acquisitions of late have been:* HP bought AppIQ, giving it a wealth of storage resource management (SRM) expertise that the rest of the company is sure to put to good use. SRM may not yet have taken off like everyone had hoped it would, but AppIQ delivers a lot of base technology that can be applied to several other HP business lines.* EMC bought Rainfinity, delivering network-attached-storage-based virtualization technology that would have taken EMC a long time to develop on its own. The rest of the industry is going to have to scramble if it wants to be competitive when it comes to managing such things as data migration, performance and capacity within a globalized file space built on heterogeneous storage products.* Sun bought StorageTek, instantly vaulting from being a storage also-ran to being a major player. STK's ability to bring Sun into the very largest enterprise sites, and to provide substantial service offerings in support of that, can be expected to have a significant impact on the industry beginning next quarter.* Symantec bought Veritas. In theory, the Veritas sales force should be helping the Symantec sales team get access to large enterprise sites where it previously had limited success. This was a huge acquisition (never mind that they like to call it a merger), and we are all still waiting to see how well it works out. What I do know is that it has been several quarters now, and some of the company's players are still trying to figure out who their counterparts are on the other side of the house, what the relationships are going to be and so forth. There are lots of potential here, but you can't live on potential forever.* CA bought e-mail protector iLumin, a leading player in addressing compliance and document discovery regulatory issues. CA's information lifecycle management strategy takes on still more credibility with this one, a situation that will increase even more when the iLumin product-set get integrated with CA's back-up, SRM and security products, scheduled for next year.* Iron Mountain bought LiveVault in a move likely to keep Iron Mountain from looking like everybody's favorite final resting place for obsolete technology and non-secured data. The year was filled with embarrassing moments connected with the loss of unencrypted archive tapes (not, however, Iron Mountain's fault - it always tell clients to encrypt tapes... but who has the time?).LiveVault, previously a technology supplier to Iron Mountain, will help its corporate parent get data electronically rather than via delivery truck. As more clients begin to take advantage of this capability, it is sure to help get Iron Mountain back to being what it ought to be - a big, safe place to store other people's data securely.\u00a0And so it went.