Is VMWare becoming just an open source rollup?

Summary:At some point the music stops, and at some point you have to look at what you've bought and ask, is there a strategy there?

The gang at Springsource was on me this week, pushing a non-disclosure agreement about some great secret news.

The news, it turned out, was that their parent, VMWare, is buying Gemstone.

Gemstone has actually been around since 1982, when it was founded as Servio Logic. It was bought at the height of the dot-com bubble, but then divested a year later -- one day you're a diamond and then you're a stone.

VMWare, which went public in 2007, has had virtual money burning a hole in its pocket for a year, having more than doubled in value since July. EMC, which owns the majority of VMWare, has been treading water during that time.

The analysts at New York-based 451 Group have been pushing VMWare to buy, buy, buy, even offering a helpful list of targets, which includes Terracotta, Chordiant, and Mulesource, among others. (Yes, Gemstone was on the list.)

It's investor excitement over clouds and virtualization that is driving VMWare. There's an attitude of use-it-or-lose it with all that stock value.

But at some point the music stops, and at some point you have to look at what you've bought and ask, is there a strategy there? Is there value there for companies that want to virtualize their systems, that want to build their own clouds?

Or were you just an open source rollup?

Topics: VMWare, Hardware, Open Source, Virtualization

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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