Oracle's Latest Acquisition Is Virtual Iron
has purchased Virtual Iron, designer of server virtualization software for cost-conscious businesses.
The latest Oracle acquisition
should come as a surprise to few. In March 2009, rumors
drifted that Oracle was close to acquiring Virtual Iron, after the release
of a research report by Katherine Egbert, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.,
who wrote that Oracle would likely purchase the company in order to strengthen
its server virtualization management capabilities.
Virtual Iron, which started in 2003, specializes in low-cost
virtualization products for a wide range of businesses, from small mom-and-pop operations
to the enterprise. Previously, it attempted to challenge VMware and Citrix
Systems, mostly on price point. Considered a relatively minor player with
middling market share in the virtualization market, the company had roughly
2,000 customers and a reported $65 million from its last round of funding.
In a statement, Oracle
suggested that incorporating Virtual Iron's technology would allow it
to "provide more comprehensive and dynamic resource management across
full software stack." The acquisition of
Virtual Iron, along with the additional virtualization technology
owns in the wake of the Sun Microsystems deal, should allow the
company to better compete against VMware, as well as Citrix Systems and
Microsoft with its Hyper-V technology.
Like Oracle, Virtual Iron utilizes the open-source Xen
hypervisor, and its products could potentially be used by Oracle to strengthen
the Oracle VM, presenting customers with the option to virtualize within the
Oracle ecosystem as opposed to relying on a product from VMware or other
players in the space.
Financial details of the agreement, which is expected to
close this summer, were not disclosed.
"With the addition of Virtual Iron, Oracle expects to
enable customers to more dynamically manage their server capacity and optimize
their power consumption," Wim Coekaerts, vice president of Linux and
Virtualization Engineering for Oracle, said in a statement. "The
acquisition is consistent with Oracle's strategy to provide comprehensive
enterprise software management and will facilitate more efficient management of
application service levels."
Even in the face of the global recession, Oracle has
continued to acquire companies in 2009, following on the 11 purchased in 2008.
Its first buyout of the year was mValent,
a small company that offered configuration management solutions.
Oracle landed a much bigger fish, however, in April 2009, when it announced plans to acquire Sun in a deal worth roughly $7.4 billion, or $9.50 a share. The Sun acquisition allows Oracle to more fully leverage Java and Solaris for many of its products, and compete more aggressively against IBM and its DB2 database middleware.