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
"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
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