IBM has announced plans to buy Blade Network Technologies, a privately-held company that specialised in data centre switches.
Big Blue did not disclose the price of the deal, which followed the company's announcement a week earlier that it was offering $US1.7 billion for data analytics company Netezza.
Monday's announcement came as IBM and rivals like HP, Oracle, and Cisco Systems were developing or acquiring new technologies in response to clients' demands for better and cheaper ways to manage their data centres.
While IBM long competed with HP and Oracle, its rivalry with network equipment maker Cisco was relatively new. Cisco's recent entry into servers prompted HP and IBM to retaliate by buying or forming close partnerships with networking firms.
Blade, spun off from Nortel Networks in 2006, sold networking devices and software that routed data to and from servers in the data centre. It was an IBM sales partner since 2002, and they already had thousands of joint clients, IBM said.
IBM said in May that it planned to spend about $US20 billion in acquisitions through 2015. Its shares were up 26 cents, around 0.2 percent, at $US134.41 in early trade.