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VMware scoops up SpringSource for more than $362 million

The overnight news is that web application framework specialist SpringSource was scooped up by virtualization giant VMware for about $362 million in cash and equity plus the assumption of some $58 million of unvested stock and options. It seems the industry thrust toward cloud computing is creating stranger and stranger sets of bedfellows…

SpringSource has long been a straight-ahead application development play but, as interest increases in the “Platform as a Service” form of cloud computing, that application development platform gains interest to virtualization software provider VMware. Virtual machines are the lifeblood of cloud, after all, but what the heck are they going to run on those bloody machines? Why, applications, of course.

We’ve already seen some odd package pairings in the early days of cloud computing. So we asked Ovum Analyst Tony Baer if he saw a connection between what VMware pledges to do with SpringSource and what we have seen IBM do with its recent CloudBurst appliance.

Baer responded via e-mail:

“If you take VMware Lab Manager, which spins out test images, and combine it with what has become the SpringSource stack, which, besides the framework, includes the compact TC Tomcat Server, and all the development tooling, and webflow frameworks, then you repurpose Lab Manager [ … for runtime], voila, you have VMware’s answer to IBM’s WebSphere Cloudburst.”

People have at times pooh-poohed the influence of development in deciding architectures in a commodities age – make no mistake, the application developer is back in the big game, as this big purchase indicates.

[Stay tuned.]

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