System News
Sun Intends to Acquire CenterRun to Help with its N1 Offerings
Solution Should Automate at the Application Layer
August 4, 2003,
Volume 66, Issue 1

Sun has announced its intent to acquire the application provisioning software developer CenterRun to help fill out its N1 computing initiative. With the new acquisition, Sun would be able to automate at the application layer. The estimated $66 million deal is expected to close in September.

CenterRun develops software that automates the provisioning of software applications. Whereas previously changes to any application on any server required manual attention or custom scripts, now provisioning -- security patch installation or internally developed application update, for example -- is possible. Aaref Hilaly, CEO and co-founder of CenterRun, describes the software, "Once testing of the change is done by the customer, the change is checked into CenterRun. Our system captures and deploys the change."

"Every vendor tries to interest customers to their full suite of products," Hilaly said. "IBM, Microsoft ... they all do. But the customers hold the power over what they buy for their data centers. No vendor can change that. I would be shocked and disappointed if Sun did not try to sell customers on its platform."

Yael Zheng, senior director of N1 marketing at Sun, is pleased about the acquisition. "We started to help customers aggregate infrastructure-layer tools into virtualization," she said. "Now we are going to the next level with the automated deployment of applications. We feel CenterRun is the best in its class. It's no longer in the proving phase -- they have products and customers."

Zheng also said that availability to non-Sun customers would not be affected by the acquisition. "Sun's traditional technology supports multiple platforms beyond our own," she said. "We firmly believe that if we want to be successful, we must support heterogeneous platforms."

Sun has recently been very active in targeting acquisitions. Last September, the company announced its intentions to acquire Pirus Systems, a developer of hardware and software technologies. That was followed by the planned acquisition of Terraspring, who develops technology that automates the deployment of software across multiple servers.

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