Dry reflections on a possible IBM purchase of Sun

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The rumors of this IT mega-merger have been swirling and were in full force this week. I’m not sure yet how the long-term balance of strategic benefits will work out for IBM, as well as the impact on the industry. Who knows, maybe Big Blue wants to take spotlight away from possible controversy involving CEO Sam Palmisano’s monstrous $21 million bonus in 2008, in light of the current AIG drama? Just sayin’…

Benefits

  • Sun’s new Open cloud API, very cool
  • Sun’s virtualization
  • MySQL, and more open-source credentials
  • Bigger imprint into the Data center (and the cloud)
  • Java

Drawbacks

  • Accumulating more overhead…HP took years to digest Compaq
  • Sun’s cachet has been fading for many years
  • Still not a major network player, despite recent partnership with Juniper
  • Still not a major storage player – see EMC, NetApp, Dell and Hitachi
  • Java

It’s hard not to interpret IBM wanting to swipe back at Cisco in the race to dominate the emerging cloud market, given that the rumors emerged barely a day after Cisco’s major Unified Computing initiative. But IBM is enhancing their strengths – servers, open source, applications – and not addressing weaknesses in networking and storage with this potential acquisition. HP appears to have a more compelling end to end Data Center offering, with an established EVA StorageWorks line in addition to ProCurve networking. I’m not sold on this one yet…

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2 thoughts on “Dry reflections on a possible IBM purchase of Sun

    davisblair said:
    March 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Good thoughts Darow. Personally I think increasing server share and open source credentials are going to make it more than worthwhile…IBM is pushing a private cloud strategy and these will help them achieve that end – and get a gadfly out of the way at the same time. For an interesting discussion on the Cloud from a recent interview with Alan Ganek at IBM, check this link: http://collaborativeinnovation.wordpress.com/cloud-survey-analysis/

    There is also an analysis that goes a little deeper than can be downloaded…

    Best,

    Davis

    darowh said:
    April 11, 2009 at 5:25 am

    David,

    With the recent news that IBM is backing away from Sun, what do you think their next move will be? I also wonder how Sun plans to survive longer-term, their management is looking similar to Yahoo! in the wake of the failed acquisition by Microsoft…

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