VMware Monday said it will acquire enterprise application and Java developer SpringSource in a move to help the company work with customers to expand its open-source support and develop internal and external cloud computing architectures.
The acquisition would make VMware a major player in the open-source community and give it a new technology to better combat Oracle, which has its own virtualization technology and which will shortly take over Sun Microsystems and its Java technology.
VMware said it plans to pay about $362 million in cash and equity and assume about $58 million of unvested stock and options for its acquisition of SpringSource, which is expected to close this quarter. The acquisition has been approved by SpringSource's shareholders, VMware said.
SpringSource is a developer of applications based on open-source technologies, and the company leads a number of open-source communities.
These include the Spring Framework, an enterprise Java programming model that VMware said currently supports about half of all enterprise Java projects. The Spring Framework is in use by about 2 million developers worldwide as a lightweight programming environment to make applications portable across open-source and commercial application server environments.
SpringSource is also the key contributor to the Apache Tomcat Java application server environment in use by more than 60 percent of all Java application server users.
The company also leads the Groovy and Grails dynamic language and Web application framework for working with Ruby on Rails while maintaining compatibility with Java virtual machine (JVM) environments.
SpringSource counts a majority of the Global 2000 as current customers, VMware said.
The acquisition of SpringSource makes VMware a major player in pushing software interoperability as well.
That is an important tool for VMware, which is using its virtualization expertise to develop technology to help customers move to cloud computing via its vSphere offering.
vSphere, unveiled in April, is VMware's next-generation virtualization technology on which customers and partners can virtualize data center resources to build cloud computing infrastructures while aggregating and managing processors, storage and networking as part of a dynamic operating environment.
SpringSource also gives VMware a new weapon with which to compete with Oracle. Oracle has a history of not offering full support of its software in VMware virtualization environments, preferring instead to push its customers to adopt its own Oracle VM virtualization technology. To that end, Oracle in May acquired virtualization software developer Virtual Iron mainly for that company's virtualization management technology.
SpringSource has been very active in helping consolidate the enterprise and Web application market with acquisitions of its own.
SpringSource in January 2008 acquired Covalent Technologies, a provider of support and services for Apache Software Foundation (ASF) open-source projects.