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Red Hat to Acquire Inktank

Inktank Ceph Enterprise delivers object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds

Red Hat, Inc., on Wednesday announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Inktank, a provider of scale-out, open source storage systems. Inktank's flagship technology, Inktank Ceph Enterprise, delivers object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds, including many early adopters of OpenStack clouds. Combined with Red Hat's existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, the addition of Inktank positions Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.

In a recently-published assessment of the software-defined storage market, IDC's Ashish Nadkarni, the firm's research director for Storage Systems wrote: "Software-defined platforms will continue to grow faster than any other market segment in the file- and object-based storage market. This growth will primarily be driven by a rich and diverse set of data-intensive use cases across multiple industries and geographies."

Founded in 2012, Inktank's main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Ceph was developed by Inktank's founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments. Inktank's primary goal has been to help customers scale their storage to the exabyte-level and beyond in a cost-effective way. Inktank has provided customers with expertise, processes, tools and support with their enterprise subscription and service offerings. Inktank's customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Red Hat has agreed to acquire Inktank, a privately-held company, for approximately $175 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments at closing. As part of the transaction, Red Hat will assume unvested Inktank equity outstanding on the closing date and issue certain equity retention incentives. The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

Red Hat does not anticipate that the transaction will have a material effect on its financial performance for the first quarter of its fiscal year ending February 28, 2015 ("fiscal 2015"). Red Hat is also reaffirming its fiscal 2015 guidance, provided on its March 27, 2014 earnings call, for revenue, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP earnings per share and operating cash flow. Non-GAAP operating margin and EPS estimates exclude the impact of stock-based compensation and amortization of acquisition-related intangibles.

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