The companies decline to disclose financial details of the purchase, but a person familiar with the deal says IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., paid $300 million -- a hefty sum for a company with 50 engineers and just a handful of customers. Industry experts say that with the technology developed by XIV, Mr. Yanai, 58 years old, has the potential to upend the storage industry again.
"He's the guy who took IBM from about 80% of the storage business to 35% in a period of five years," says John Webster, an analyst with Illuminata, a Nashua, N.H., market-research firm. Today, IBM has about 14% of the external disk storage business compared to EMC's 22% share, according to market researcher IDC. IDC says the market will amount to $19.68 billion this year.