CenterRun Buy Will Give Sun Auto App Deployment

The acquisition would give Sun the ability to automate at the application layer. The Santa Clara, Calif., company previously focused its utility computing at servers and storage.

The deal, expected to close in September, is valued at an estimated $66 million, according to various sources. Officials of both companies declined to comment on the financial terms.

CenterRun, Redwood City, Calif., was founded three years ago and has received a total of $20 million in funding, said Aaref Hilaly, CEO and co-founder.

CenterRun's software automates the provisioning of internally developed or third-party software applications, as well as the installation of patches to applications, Hilaly said.

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Yael Zheng, senior director of N1 marketing for Sun, said the technology developed by CenterRun was one of the building blocks Sun looked at when it developed its N1 architecture.

"We started to help customers aggregate infrastructure-layer tools into virtualization," Zheng said. "Now we are going to the next level with the automated deployment of applications. We feel CenterRun is the best in its class."

CenterRun's customers include Agile Software, Network Solutions, Seagate Technology and Verisign, among others.

CenterRun was developed to work in heterogeneous environments, and Hilaly said that won't change. "Sun is absolutely committed to heterogeneous environments with N1," he said.

Sun is already shipping software to automate the provisioning of blade servers under its N1 architecture, and expects to make that technology available to all its servers next year, Zheng said. Its storage provisioning technology is also shipping via its professional services organization.

Sun needs to partner with companies that can deliver applications for the Sun platform, said Tom Kuni, president of Sales Strategies, a Metuchen, N.J., solution provider. "There's a big differentiation in the partner community now between the old-school fulfillment houses and the technically software-capable organizations that can provide a deliverable [solution]," he said.