Citrix announced it plans to buy Ardence, a US-based developer of network provisioning technology.

The acquisition will extend Citrix's application delivery offering to include real-time, on demand provisioning of desktops, server images and service oriented architecture objects.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to close in the first quarter 2007. Citrix said it expects the acquisition will add $15 million to $18 million (£9.3m) in revenue for its 2007 fiscal year.

Citrix said that its enterprise customers will be able to use Ardence's technology in a number of ways, offering them more options for how they deliver applications and efficiently apply resources. For example, Ardence's provisioning capabilities will allow IT administrators to more quickly add new servers to a Citrix Presentation Server Farm and enable dynamic configuration of servers in the data centre.

The Ardence technology will also allow users of the Citrix NetScaler line of web application delivery products to dynamically change the amount of storage or central processing unit (CPU) capacity available to web applications.

Ardence will also enhance Citrix's Dynamic Desktop Initiative, designed to improve the way IT administrators can centralise computing resources, Citrix said. The acquisition will extend that capability by cutting down on the complexity involved with the real-time roll out of software and enabling IT workers to remotely boot desktops, laptops, servers and blades.

Ardence has 100 employees and over 3,000 customers. It will become part of Citrix's Management Systems Group.