I have a long-time bias in favor of Springsource.
Their management has always impressed me with their professionalism. So I was not surprised this weekend to learn they are buying Hyperic, or to quote the press release " substantially all of the assets of Hyperic."
Good management doesn't overpay in a downturn.
Our own Matt Asay then put up an intriguing headline. "SpringSource acquires Hyperic, takes on IBM and Microsoft."
This led me to some intriguing questions:
- Are they ready to play that game?
- Will they ever be?
- Will any open source pure play ever be?
I read to the end of Matt's piece and he didn't back down. IBM and Microsoft can "build, run, and manage applications" and now so can Springsource.
Really? I buy build, I can even get into run, but manage? Anyone who has read The
MysticalMythical Man Month knows that as projects scale, project management must scale.
Open source is powerful, in part, because it effectively breaks systems down into pieces and puts small groups in charge of each piece. Open source as a business reflects this reality. Most manage just one project, some manage a few, very few run several.
Moreover, IBM and Microsoft don't just run their own projects, but customers' projects. Their biggest projects. Project management of large systems is completely different from supporting software. Can any open source company, even Springsource, scale to deliver that?
And if one did would those who believe in open source be happy with them? Or would we immediately start throwing bricks through their virtual windows, shouting how unclean they were?