VMware acquisition of SpringSource is now a done deal

The virtualization giant's purchase of SpringSource adds application development into VMware's cloud story

VMware announced it has officially completed its acquisition of SpringSource, the enterprise and Web application development and management vendor. The deal was originally announced back on Aug. 10 for a total cost of $420 million. The acquisition news coming out of VMware happened pretty quickly, and the closing process seemed to speed by just as fast.

Now that the acquisition is final, SpringSource will become a division of VMware, and CEO and founder Rod Johnson will serve as its general manager. VMware said the "division's charter will be to continue its focus on providing developers and customers the best experience for developing enterprise and web applications on all platforms, with an additional focus on helping VMware create integrated products that deliver a simplified 'build, run and manage' experience based on both SpringSource technologies and VMware vSphere. These new products will extend VMware's strategy to deliver Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions that can be hosted at customer datacenters or at service providers."

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Looking back, VMware seemed very excited about the acquisition, giving it quite a bit of air time at the company's annual VMworld trade show event in San Francisco only three weeks ago. SpringSource executives were brought out on stage to talk about current and future plans during VMworld keynotes as well as at private press and analyst sessions. Unfortunately, the VMware administrators who dominate the VMworld audience seemed more concerned about the nuts and bolts of the technology (vMotion capabilities, storage and network integration, resource configuration, mobile management) than they did about building and delivering new enterprise and Web applications in the private or public cloud.  The news didn't seem to capture the attention of many of those administrators at the show, which was evident by the number of folks who exited the sessions when this topic came up.

To be fair, I believe a lot of unknowns still need to be worked out between VMware and SpringSource that many of us just don't completely understand yet. Perhaps the SpringSource SpringOne event next month in New Orleans will better explain what is going. During this event, I suspect they may go into more detail about SpringSource's new cloud effort, called SpringSource Cloud Foundry, where the company plans to bring together Java middleware, management, and cloud delivery -- no wonder VMware loves it. If nothing else, I suspect the audience at this show will prove to be more receptive to this type of announcement.

VMware's CEO Paul Maritz noted during VMworld that SpringSource comes from a different world than the one VMware is used to working in, but he said the two companies have been working closely together over the past year, and VMware was very impressed with what it saw in SpringSource.

"The combination of VMware and SpringSource will enable us to take our customers on an evolutionary path forward, one that offers a superior platform for both internal and external cloud environments that can host both existing and new applications," said Maritz.

"What's more, this combination will move us forward in our mission to simplify enterprise IT and make customer environments more efficient, scalable, and easier to manage," he added.

The move to have both middleware and virtualization software looks to be a key component to VMware's vision as it moves from the datacenter to the cloud.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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