Red Hat acquires Ansible

Linux Weekly News reports that Red Hat acquires Ansible.  There are quite a few configuration management tools around, and it was only the matter of time until Red Hat, with all its corporate client base, would buy one.  Or pledge allegiance.  My personal preference would be in Puppet, but Puppet comes from the Ruby world, where’s Red Hat is more of a Python shop.

Ansible’s simple and agentless approach, unlike competing solutions, does not require any special coding skills, removing some of the most significant barriers to automation across IT. From deployment and configuration to rolling upgrades, by adding Ansible to its hybrid management portfolio, Red Hat will help customers to:

  • Deploy and manage applications across private and public clouds.
  • Speed service delivery through DevOps initiatives.
  • Streamline OpenStack installations and upgrades.
  • Accelerate container adoption by simplifying orchestration and configuration.

The upstream Ansible project is one of the most popular open source automation projects on GitHub with an active and highly engaged community, encompassing nearly 1,200 contributors. Ansible automation is being used by a growing number of Fortune 100 companies, powering large and complex private cloud environments, and the company has received several notable accolades, including a 2015 InfoWorld Bossie Award, recognizing the best open source datacenter and cloud software.

Regardless, though, of my personal preferences, these are good news for configuration management and automation.

Dell to by EMC for $67 billion

Bloomberg reports on a largest technology acquisition ever (excluding telephony):

Dell Inc. agreed to buy EMC Corp. for about $67 billion in the largest technology acquisition ever, creating a corporate-computing giant that will use a wider product lineup to woo customers as demand slows and competition stiffens.

Dell plans to pay $24.05 a share in cash plus tracking stock in EMC’s prize holding,VMware Inc., valued at about $9 for each EMC share, the companies said in a statement Monday. The price of $33.15 a share is 28 percent above EMC’s closing level on Oct. 7, just before reports surfaced that a deal was in the works.

Rogue Wave Software acquires Zend Technologies

zend rogue wave

Zend Technologies, the company behind PHP, has been acquired by Rogue Wave Software.  This sounds like huge news, except that I have no idea about who Rogue Wave Software are, what they do, and what’s their plan in regards to PHP.  Sure, the announcement suggests that they’ll help to push PHP technology into the enterprise.  But, I guess, that remains to be seen.

Congratulations and kudos to Zend Technologies for all the work they’ve done so far.

Now that Google’s selling Motorola, how much did it overpay in 2011?

Now that Google’s selling Motorola, how much did it overpay in 2011?

Just how much did Google (GOOG) overpay for Motorola Mobility when it agreed to buy the phone maker for $12.5 billion in 2011 Shareholders will have to figure that out after Google announced on Wednesday that it is unloading the money-losing subsidiary on Chinese electronics maker Lenovo Group (0992.HK) for $2.9 billion.

Sure, Motorola had $3 billion of cash on its balance sheet when it was acquired and Google later sold a set-top box division for $2.4 billion. But that still leaves Google CEO Larry Page left to explain why he’s only getting $3 billion for the remaining net investment of $7 billion. “Patents,” he’d likely reply.

Analysts speculated all along that Google made the hasty deal only to get control of Motorola’s vast trove of about 17,000 patents. At the time, Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) appeared to be waging an intellectual property war to beat back the Android challenge. Many of those battles continue and intellectual property attorneys are split over whether the Motorola patents have helped Google much, if at all.

Still, Google said it would retain “the vast majority” of patents from Motorola in the sale to Lenovo.

Who’s next in the long list of Oracle acquisitions?

ERP Software Advice has an interesting summary of Oracle’s mergers and acquisitions for the last few years.  Here is an excellent graphical representation:

But not only that.  They are trying to figure out who is the next in line.  If you have an opinion on this matter – vote in their poll.  If you don’t – check the article anyway – it’s pretty cool.

As for me, I am not that well familiar with Oracle’s business, but judging by a few comments here and there, one company that they won’t buy anytime soon is EMC.  If I remember correctly, because there is some personal affair going on.  Or maybe that’s just all rumors and my misunderstanding of it all.

Follow-up on Yahoo and Microsoft

The other day I wrote a post about possible Yahoo acquisition by Microsoft. There have been some developments to the story. If you haven’t followed it elsewhere, here is a brief summary for you:

  • Microsoft decided to buy Yahoo (again)
  • Yahoo said “No” (again)
  • Microsoft insists in very aggressive ways

There are a couple of posts at Mashable (one and two) which tell how the story unfolds in more details.

What Microsoft does this time, is what they have always been doing. This time it’s just on a slighter bigger scale. And if you ever had any fantasies about how Microsoft cares about you as a customer or partner, take a closer look at what happens now. If they don’t give a flying fork about major players on the Web, who are creating an ecosystem, what do they care about you as an end user?

My extremism years are long over, but I still get to hear “Boycott Microsoft!” scream in my head once in a while. Whatever the case, I believe in natural balance and the equilibrium of all things. I think that Microsoft has been rocking the technology boat for far too long and that things are slowly turning to where they should be. It will take a few more years to make them more obvious to general public, but the trend is there.

In regard to this particular situation, there is a slight chance of Yahoo getting away from this acquisition through an alliance with Google. It’s not as good as if they could just be, but it’s by far better than if they get acquired by Microsoft.

Yahoo + Microsoft vs. Google et al

The big news of last week were of yet another attempt by Microsoft to buy Yahoo.  If you missed all the buzz, Web Worker Daily has a really nice round-up with separate links to facts (read: press releases) and opinions (read: speculations).  If that’s not enough for you, you can always find more with Google, Slashdot, and Digg.

Many online news sources continue to be completely dominated by discussion of Microsoft’s hostile bid to acquire Yahoo! And no wonder: a deal of this magnitude has the potential to touch the lives of pretty much everyone living and working online. It’s a rare web worker indeed who doesn’t use something from one or another of those two companies in their daily lives.

So, first, can it affect me personally?  Yes.  I don’t use any Microsoft/MSN/Live services, but I can’t live without Flickr and del.icio.us, both of which belong to Yahoo now.  Also, I do occasionally use Upcoming.

Now, what do I think about this whole thing?  Well, I think it shows how desperate Microsoft is.  The general trend is towards the web, not the desktop, where they still rule.  Most of their own web services turned out to be pretty lousy.  They want to get online, and they are willing to pay a lot of money to get their fast.  Mostly, of course, this is a war for a place under the advertising sun.

From the Microsoft view point (I think), Yahoo looks to be online.  More than so.  Yahoo is the second most important company online after Google.  And Google is giving Yahoo some rough time.  And Microsoft realizes it clearly, that Google is partially to blame for this whole trend towards the web.  And it also realizes that if it is serious about moving online, it’ll have to compete with Google in one area or another.  So it makes even more sense to acquire Yahoo.  From the Microsoft point of view (again, I think), Yahoo appears to know what they are doing.

And that’s where I see their biggest mistake.  Yahoo is indeed the second most important company on the web after Google.  But it struggles to be there, and it struggles even more to keep Google in sight.  Because it is falling pretty far behind.

A little side note: I think there is a war of concepts between Google and Yahoo. It’s bigger than just advertising space or anything else.

  • Yahoo started off with a directory of links, which was better than many at a time because it was moderated by humans.  Google started off with bringing huge improvements to machine based indexing and searching.  Yahoo:Google – 0:1.
  • Google brought this whole concept of clean user interfaces and simplicity for the end user.  Yahoo stayed and expanded on the old idea of portals, which bring all possible and impossible to the front page of the site.  Yahoo:Google – 0:2.
  • Google made a stake on the brilliance of its people – if the service is properly done, it’ll grow by itself and bring in more users.  Yahoo played it safe, trying to purchase web services that already have momentum.  Yahoo:Google – 1:2.

End of side note.

Overall, I think that this is a bad move on Microsoft part.  If the acquisition will happen, I think, it’ll damage both companies, and, maybe even, drive at least one of them into the ground (eventually, not immediately).  Yahoo, being at the position it is now, needs more flexibility.  The online space is getting more and more competitive.  That’s where you need to move fast.  Yahoo made some really good acquisitions before, and I’d say that they have some sense in this area, but they need more speed with integration of their acquisitions into their backbone.  With Microsoft on board, I’m afraid, everything will get a lot slower.

Also, I think that Yahoo won’t win much from this acquisition.  Surely, some money will come their way, but it’s not always a good thing.  And I don’t think that it’s good in this particular case and at this particular time.   I believe it would do much more good for Yahoo to get smaller, faster, and “hungrier”.  Hunger (think: limited resources) makes one’s mind sharper.  That’s exactly what they need now.  Not more “fat”.

As for Microsoft, I think there strategy should be more directed towards entertainment.  If they really want to buy something, they should buy some entertainment companies.  Those that produce content.  Disney studios maybe? Or some sort of a deal with AOL/Time Warner (they had a few frictions in the past, but they seem to managed to work out a solution together).  With more and easily accessible content they can reinforce end users interest in their Windows desktop, as well as their gaming platform (Xbox thing), and their mobile platform (Windows Mobile).  And, entertainment content by itself is a rather popular thing among the end users, which makes advertising much easier.  And rich advertising too – not just text-based relevant web ads, but audio and video media.

What do you think about all this?

SUP buys LiveJournal

Russian (or, Russian born) company SUP acquires LiveJournal blog service from Six Apart.  The two companies have been working together for the last six month or so, with SUP “taking care” of the Russian users of LiveJournal, which are an impressive 28% chunk of population.

How do I feel about this?  Here are some points from the top of my head, that will give you an idea:

  • I have an account with LiveJournal, but I don’t use it that much myself.  There are a few blogs there that I read, but this is not by any means a vital service for my web life.
  • I think that LiveJournal is lagging behind its competitors for some time now.  It needed a “push”.
  • I don’t think that SUP will be able to “push” it.  For a number of reasons.  (Russia lags in technological development and understanding.   SUP is company established by “an international management team”, not techies.  And so on.)
  • I don’t think that SUP (or any other Russian company for that matter) has enough trust to run a blogging service.  I think that many bloggers (especially political ones) will look for alternative services.
  • I have a feeling that monetization of LiveJournal will get a bit more aggressive in the nearest future.
  • I think that it’s time for a lot of people to take a look around and learn about other excellent blogging communities, such as WordPress.com for example.