VMware today announced that its SpringSource division plans to acquire privately held data management vendor GemStone in a move to expand SpringSource's portfolio of Java software tools and servers for scaling enterprise application data.
GemStone develops data management layer software, including the GemFire in-memory distributed data management platform and SQLFabric, which provides Java caching. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
"The strategic intent of this acquisition is all about data management as it applies to the next generation of enterprise and cloud applications," Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management at SpringSource, told InternetNews.com.
Connolly added that even prior to SpringSource's 2009 acquisition of VMware (NYSE: VMW), SpringSource had been investigating ways to scale data management.
Meanwhile, GemStone President Richard Lamb told InternetNews.com that while his company's products have been installed in some large deployments, they had been lacking in developer mindshare.
"We didn't accrue large developer mindshare with the Java developers that we really wanted to reach out to," Lamb said. "As we looked at this opportunity with SpringSource, it made sense for us to join a company that has momentum and share with Java developers."
Lamb added that his goal is to be able to bring his company's data management technology to the mainstream of cloud computing that SpringSource is tackling.
"It's absolutely a match made in heaven, from our perspective," Lamb said.
Cloud, VMforce aspirations
While many parts of SpringSource's product line, including its namesake Spring Framework, are open source technologies, the GemStone technology is closed and proprietary. Still, SpringSource is no stranger to delivering commercial proprietary technologies, either.
"The SpringSource model has been a hybrid model," Connolly said. "The Spring Framework is pure open source, while SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) brings together a variety of open and closed components. Our tc server is an open core model where we've build out management and scalability features in a commercially licensed subscription offering."
The tc server uses the open source Apache Tomcat server as a base for a commercial solution for a Java server.
Connolly added that SpringSource will be focusing its time and effort on integrating GemStone technology. Additionally, the Spring programming model will be enhanced in order to make it easier for open source developers to leverage GemStone data management technologies, while the tc server will be leveraged in application deployments.
"One of the nice things is we have overlap in our customer base with GemStone," Connolly said. "This clearly fits in strongly with our buildout of private and public cloud infrastructure and our VMforce announcement that also came out recently." VMforce is a new effort that aims to enable on-demand Java applications through the Salesforce.com platform.