Oracle makes yet another acquisition

This time, virtualisation is targeted

Oracle is continuing its spending spree with an agreement to buy Virtual Iron, an acquisition that will help it enhance its Xen-based server virtualization software.

According to Oracole, the combination of its own VM hypervisor and Virtual Iron's technology will help customers optimise capacity utilisation with more dynamic resource management; reduce server power consumption with automated power management tools; and provide deeper insight into server performance and utilisation at every layer.

Virtual Iron's server virtualisation management platform will become part of the Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager product lines. The acquisition is expected to close this summer. Financial details were not disclosed.

"The combined suite of products is expected to simplify the deployment and configuration of physical servers, virtual machines, and applications while providing a highly available platform for hosting Oracle software and other enterprise applications," an Oracle statement says.

The announcement comes less than a month after Oracle unveiled a deal to purchase Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion.

Compared with VMware, Citrix and Microsoft, Oracle is a small player in the server virtualisation market, with its hypervisor and management tools sold largely to customers already using other Oracle products such as its flagship database.

Oracle did not seem to offer any assurances that it will continue supporting Virtual Iron products in an announcement letter and presentations related to the acquisition. "The goal of the combination is to complement Oracle offerings," the company said. Oracle says Virtual Iron technology will continue to be enhanced, but as part of the Oracle VM and Enterprise Manager product lines.

Both Virtual Iron and Oracle base their virtualisation products on Linux and the Xen open source hypervisor, but the products are complementary, with Virtual Iron adding dynamic resource management and ease of use capabilities, Oracle says.

Oracle says it expects to keep Virtual Iron employees on to leverage their "deep domain expertise in operating systems and virtualisation".

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