Microsoft Corporation has purchased Valence Research, Inc., an Oregon-based developer of TCP/IP load-balancing and fault tolerance software for Windows NT. Valence's award-winning Convoy Cluster software will be renamed as the Microsoft Windows NT Load Balancing Service and, presumably, be incorporated in Windows NT 5.0. This software brings better scalability and fault tolerance to a wide range of NT technologies, including the SMPT mail service in Exchange Server, Proxy Server, Internet Information Services, PPTP, and the Microsoft Internet Authentication Service.

"We are excited to extend our clustering capabilities with this acquisition so that many more Microsoft customers can benefit from this technology," said Microsoft senior VP Jim Allchin. "Microsoft is also pleased to add key personnel from Valence Research to the Microsoft Windows NT Server team."

Interestingly, Microsoft has been using the Valence software for some time on its own servers, including the servers behind microsoft.com and msn.com