Now this is one for the books, Oracle this morning announced that it has acquired cloud operating system vendor Nimbula who, only last November, announced that it was joining the OpenStack initiative. From the announcement:
Oracle announced it has agreed to acquire Nimbula, a provider of private cloud infrastructure management software. Nimbula’s technology helps companies manage infrastructure resources to deliver service, quality and availability, as well as workloads in private and hybrid cloud environments. Nimbula’s product is complementary to Oracle, and is expected to be integrated with Oracle’s cloud offerings. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.
Yes, the home of closed, proprietary, heavy and aggressive technology has acquired a lightweight open source product that is part of a “mutual gain” initiative. OMFG indeed!
Nimbula’s decision to join OpenStack was, in my view, partly inspired by the difficulty they had in gaining real marketplace traction. Other than Russian search giant Yandex, the enterprise deals were slow in coming to Nimbula – this despite the fact that their solution was actually very solid (no surprise given the founders of Nimbula built Amazon’s EC2 service in the past. By joining OpenStack, Nimbula got some much needed attention and recognition.
This recognition however may not have turned into significant revenue and I suspect the investors were starting to itch for a short term exit before cash levels started to get painful – fundamentally in the private cloud market it’s hard to convince people not to just “keep buying VMware”
In acquiring Nimbula, Oracle gets some private cloud chops, the interesting thing will be to see whether they continue the approach of deploying Nimbula on commodity hardware or try and fudge it into their long standing and frustrating “cloud in a box” story. Much is unknown about the deal (not least of all the price paid) but it will be fascinating to see where it goes.
Disclosure – Nimbula’s VP of Marketing is an investor in a company that I’m also an investor in. I have no inside information on the Nimbula/Oracle deal however.