Software // Information Management
Commentary
3/20/2009
09:43 AM
Tony Byrne
Tony Byrne
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

If IBM Buys Sun...

I'll leave it to other analysts to discuss potential overlap in the areas of hardware, operating systems, and databases. Instead I'll focus on the platforms of greatest interest to content technology people. First, there's the future of Sun's meandering enterprise portal strategy...

The reports that IBM will buy Sun Microsystems are still just rumors with no confirmation. Might not happen. Still interesting to think about. I'll leave it to other analysts to discuss potential overlap in the areas of hardware, operating systems, and databases. Instead I'll focus on the platforms of greatest interest to content technology people.First, there's the future of Sun's meandering enterprise portal strategy. Early this decade, Sun joined other application server vendors by layering a portal product on top. Sun Portal Server was reasonably popular in academia, but otherwise never really took off, despite more recent efforts to spiff it up and put it into open source. Then Sun announced an intention to come out with its own version of open source portal platform Liferay (which CMS Watch reviews in its portals research). IBM has been amenable to open source, but any commercialized Liferay platform would have to compete with the behemoth IBM WebSphere Portal Server. That's a tough one.

Sun has also been rumored, over the years, to have come close to acquiring a Web CMS or Collaboration vendor. Never happened. Sun has been working on various Social Software modules designed to boost its MySQL franchise, but they haven't been productized. Seems to me that IBM has a better history of bringing skunkworks projects to market, so if the deal goes down, maybe we'll see more Sun's R&D in this area.

Finally, there's the question of Java specs and standards. Sun has been steadily easing its hold over Java; hard to tell what an IBM acquisition would mean here.

I think the most important thing about any acquisition is this: Big Blue is no Borg. At least not on the software side. IBM is a highly diffuse and actually somewhat disorganized vendor that tends to acquire products, then routinely lose track of them. For current Sun licensees, maybe that's not a bad thing.I'll leave it to other analysts to discuss potential overlap in the areas of hardware, operating systems, and databases. Instead I'll focus on the platforms of greatest interest to content technology people. First, there's the future of Sun's meandering enterprise portal strategy...

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.