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SpringSource-Hyperic not so open source, not so badJay Lyman, May 4, 2009 @ 6:48 pm ET
There’s quite a bit of discussion about SpringSource’s annnounced acquisition of Hyperic, with all kinds of speculation on SpringSource’s competitive positioning, its desire to add a management component and, as we report, the importance of Hyperic’s focus on monitoring and managing applications in virtualized and cloud environments. What does not seem to be quite as prominent in the discussion of this deal between two companies we consider open source vendors is: open source software.
Sure, there are technical and cultural reasons that an acquisition and merging of the comnpanies makes sense. Both use primarily GPL-licensed open source software at the center of their offerings. Both offer a variety of proprietary extensions and enhancements in an open core model. Both started around the same time and are at similar places in their evolution along with the commercial adoption of open source. However, as we’ve seen in other cases when open source matters more on an underlying level, open source software is somewhat of an aside in the SpringSource-Hyperic acquisition.
That is not to say, however, that this deal reflects a lack of momentum for open source software, whether we’re talking enterprise Java and SpringSource or applications monitoring and management via Hyperic. Some are arguing that this acquisition represents SpringSource protecting its own viability by saving Hyperic, which is embedded in SpringSource’s products and business. However, given the growth we’ve seen at both companies and the continued acquisition strategy from SpringSource, that does not seem to be the case. As far as the contention enterprise and midmarket organizations are turning away from open source amid difficult economic conditions, we are seeing the exact opposite. The risk/benefit question on open source software is now falling down on the side of trying it out, and open source seems to be passing the test. Those who continue to forbid or resist open source are sounding more unreasonable, particularly when there are most likely parts of all organizations that already know the benefits, including cost-savings.
We believe the main drivers of the SpringSource-Hyperic acquisition and the main value here is not open source software, but rather where open source software has allowed both of these vendors to go: enterprise Java applications, virtualized and cloud computing environments in particular. The fact that these vendors are joining up in the latest virtualized and cloud environments indicates they have the right offering at the right time, and we expect the combined company will leverage this even more now.
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