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What Does Oracle Buying Virtual Iron Mean To SMBs?

Earlier today, Oracle announced that it was buying virtualization software and management vendor Virtual Iron. For small and midsize businesses, consummation of this long-rumored deal means even more industry emphasis on making virtualization a mainstream activity for IT shops of all sizes. And that's a good thing.
Earlier today, Oracle announced that it was buying virtualization software and management vendor Virtual Iron. For small and midsize businesses, consummation of this long-rumored deal means even more industry emphasis on making virtualization a mainstream activity for IT shops of all sizes. And that's a good thing.The virtualization market has been dominated by VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft's Hyper-V. Oracle was also in the mix with its Oracle VM, but the Virtual Iron acquisition seems to signal a deeper level of commitment to the technology from Larry Ellison's crew. The company said in a presentaion for customers that "Virtual Iron extends Oracle VM software to provide comprehensive and dynamic resource management across the full stack." Oracle also said that it expects Virtual Iron's products to be complementary, and expects to keep Virtual Iron employees.

With revenues estimated at around $20 million per year, Virtual Iron just wasn't that big a market player. But as part of Oracle, Virtual Iron's technology brings another heavyweight into the virtualization fight, which should only intensify competition -- and options -- for small and midsize businesses. And according to the Wall Street Journal, most of Virtual Iron's customers are small and medium enterprises.

Unlike Oracle's recent purchase of Sun Microsystems, there's no threat to a long list of widely used products and technologies. And as InformationWeek's Paul McDougall points out, that deal also brings Oracle "a number of key virtualization products, including xVM Server."

Micheal Dortch, principal analyst at DortchOnIT.com, adds that Oracle's VM, Sun's xVM, and Virtual Iron's offerings are all built atop the Xen open source virtualization technologies. "With three virtualization alternatives all built upon the same foundation, and an apparently increasing interest in SaaS and the cloud, Oracle seems well-positioned to offer SMBs an even broader range of software-based services than seemed likely in the wake of the Sun acquisition."

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