CHELMSFORD, Mass. (

TheStreet

) --

Voltaire

(VOLT) - Get Report

shares surged Monday morning on news of the

switchmaker's

acquisition by data center specialist

Mellanox

(MLNX) - Get Report

.

Shares of Voltaire were rising $2.22, or 34.53%, to $8.65, while Mellanox shares were dropping $1.05 to $24.16.

Mellanox, which makes switches as well as adapters for connecting servers and storage, will pay $8.75 a share for Voltaire in a deal worth around $218 million. The transaction, which has already been approved by the companies' boards, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

The deal ends weeks of speculation about Voltaire's future and is the latest in a string of data center-related acquisitions.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, for example, recently

acquired Blade Network Technologies

and

Netezza

, while

HP

(HPQ) - Get Report

out-muscled

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

to acquire storage maker

3Par

(PAR) - Get Report

.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

rival Voltaire

was itself recently touted as acquisition bait

for IBM, thanks largely to close relationship with Blade Network Technologies.

Voltaire made its name selling InfiniBand switches, but it entered the

10-Gbit/s Ethernet market last year

in an attempt to claw share from Cisco's Nexus switch. The 10-Gbit/s Ethernet product is aimed at firms connecting large numbers of servers across multiple data centers, something crucial to firms looking to consolidate IT gear.

During its recent third-quarter results, Voltaire grew its revenue 25% compared to the same period last year and predicted 2010 sales at the top end of its guidance.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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