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3/13/2013
04:40 PM
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Oracle To Buy OpenStack Fan Nimbula

Nimbula, an early cloud orchestration software maker, may bridge gap between Oracle products and growing, public cloud.

Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
Oracle vs. Salesforce: Social Acquisition Face-off
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Oracle has announced it plans to acquire Nimbula, a cloud infrastructure software supplier with a primary Amazon Web Services architect, Chris Pinkham, as its co-founder.

Nimbula produces what It calls a cloud operating system, Nimbula Director, which orchestrates and manages the functions of a public cloud, including provisioning, tracking and chargeback of cloud workloads. One potential implication of the move is to bring Oracle into alignment with the open source cloud software, OpenStack, since one of Nimbula's most recent moves was to convert Director into an orchestrator of OpenStack components.

Exactly how Nimbula will be combined with the Oracle product line isn't clear at this point, although Oracle's announcement said it will be "integrated into the Oracle's cloud offering" and was "complementary to Oracle."

At first glance, it's hard to know exactly in what form such integration might appear. Nimbula is meant to govern a scale-out set of standard x86 servers, allow self-provisioning by users and chargeback based on hourly use. Oracle's cloud products are based on hardware arranged in a proprietary appliance with a proprietary software stack, which are sold as a unit with an upfront license fee.

[ Learn how Nimbula developed Director. Read Nimbula Tackles Cloud Identity Problem. ]

It's possible that Oracle is acquiring Nimbula as insurance that it won't be left behind by a rapidly evolving world of public cloud computing, much of which is based on open source code. Instead of integrating with Oracle's existing cloud offerings, Nimbula Director may give Oracle a bridge over which its products could connect to and communicate with a future standard, open source cloud provided by different suppliers.

Nimbula has also developed an ability for Director to recognize VMware ESXi Server workloads and import them from the VMware environment.

Unlike most acquisitions, Oracle did not put out a press release announcing the purchase, slated to take place sometime in the next several months. Instead, it issued a one-paragraph statement on the Oracle Technology Network for developers and Oracle users.

"Nimbula's technology helps companies manage infrastructure resources to deliver service, quality and availability, as well as workloads in private and hybrid cloud environments," Oracle told members of the network in a statement posted Wednesday. It also stated the intent to integrate Nimbula into its product line.

Nimbula posted a headline that it was being acquired by Oracle on its Web site Wednesday with a "learn more" link that led to the brief Oracle Technology Network announcement.

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timwessels
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timwessels,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2013 | 8:24:00 PM
re: Oracle To Buy OpenStack Fan Nimbula
Although founded by some of the same people who created EC2 at Amazon, Nimbula wasn't getting any traction in the market despite their pedigree and having Nimbula Director available for a couple of years. Bolting Nimbula Director to OpenStack was probably a long shot at saving this particular cloudstack from oblivion. The EC2 compatibility mojo in private and hybrid clouds seems to be with Eucalyptus, which signed an agreement with AWS for API support last year. I agree with Mr. Babcock that Oracle may just keep Nimbula on the shelf until it can figure out what to do with it. Oracle did something similar three years ago when they bought Virtual Iron. Virtual Iron was a server virtualization management platform based on Xen. Oracle basically consumed the technology in-house after pulling the plug on Virtual Iron's partner network and their customers.
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
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