Unless one of the other vendors slips a sneaky acquisition under the door by the end of the year, the announcement by IBM that it is buying StoredIQ early in the new year has to be the last throw in consolidation of the information management market for this year.

Like many of IBM’s small acquisitions, IBM has not revealed how much it is going to pay -- a good indication that in relative terms it hasn't paid a lot for StoredIQ.

Big Data, e-Discovery

Like previous acquisitions in the information management space, or the information lifecycle governance space to be more precise, this adds new functionality that continues to build out IBM’s abilities in this area. In fact, by incorporating StoredIQ into its Information LifeCycle Governance Suite, IBM will address at least two problems that are growing in importance as the amount of data enterprises are using continues to grow.

The first issue is that of storage. While companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google race to the bottom in their attempt to offer the cheapest prices for data storage, StoredIQ approached the problem from a different perspective -- by applying de-duplication polices across all data. 

The result is a considerably reduced amount of data to be stored across enterprise infrastructures. On top of this, StoredIQ's architecture can run across multiple servers and deal with petabytes of information, easily enabling it to re-brand itself recently as a big data player. 

The second area that StoredIQ addresses is that of e-Discovery, an area that is more obviously marketable to businesses and large enterprises.

IBM, StoredIQ

StoredIQ was set-up eleven years ago and has been providing e-Discovery systems ever since. Its systems enable companies to index, store and manage the lifecycle of all information, particularly structured information. It works by managing data in the place it is located and with a lot of different data sources -- be they file shares, desktops or old tapes. StoredIQ analyzes data, digs out the relevant bits according to enterprise criteria and gets rid of the rest.

There may also be a couple of other things that could have persuaded IBM into making this acquisition. It is easy and quick to install, which has enabled it to attract considerable interest and a strong enterprise customer base of 120 large customers across the financial services, healthcare, government and manufacturing industries. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.