Monday, May 4, 2009

SpringSource += Hyperic

So its now official - SpringSource has acquired (assets of?) Hyperic.

I can easily see the merits of this from SpringSource's point of view: They have a great brand, great reach into the enterprise but yet nothing much that people would really pay money for. Spring Framework is great but that's a library - and people don't pay scalable subscription dollars for a library. They've introduced dmServer but that's kinda pointless .. its a server to run your stuff and the server itself is pretty bare. No dollars there. Ah, tcServer you say? Yes, people do pay for Tomcat - but that's basically Covalent's business they bought there .. not a whole lot of dollars really. Good business (and great people) for sure but not a hugely scalable business. Not a growth business.

Hyperic gives them a footprint that people need to pay for - software updates. Plus Hyperic is positioned as a delivery channel for many other companies (example MuleSource), which gives them further "foundational" footprint.

We WSO2 will not touch them for a variety of reasons .. our true open source nature (everything under Apache license, no "enterprise verison" gimmicks) being the main one; their model works best when there's a toy community edition and a real (non-open source) enterprise edition that customers need to use and get caught into. None of that in WSO2.

So I can totally see this from a SpringSource point of view.

From Hyperic's point of view? I don't get it. Seemingly, Hyperic was doing well. In that case, selling your company to another startup is not the kind of exit that founders and VCs want. On the other hand, Hyperic has been around for a long time - Javier (and others?) were part of the original Covalent (which was writing management tools for Apache HTTPD) bought the "other half" of the original VC-funded Covalent (for $1 IIRC) to form Hyperic. They since took in VC funds in the new company and was seemingly doing really well. So hopefully Javier and team get to go home with a good chunk of change :-) .. and given the investor pockets in SpringSource that would not surprise me at all. In that case, I totally get it.

The other interesting part of this acquisition is that it brings together all the parts of the "old" Covalent back together under the SpringSource umbrella :). Funny how the world turns, eh?!

Good luck to SpringSource and the newly expanded family. Hope you guys become more of a worthy opponent ;-).

I imagine my friends at MuleSource are hoping/thinking/expecting they're next? I see they're hard at work OSGifying themselves ... get it done fast guys!

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