VMware buys Zimbra

A couple of years ago I did a brief piece on Zimbra, the Microsoft Exchange “replacement” that Stanford University had chosen as its new messaging platform. It turns out I wasn’t the only one that noticed, because Zimbra is now the property of VMware. As reported in The Register:

With the acquisition, Byun says, VMware is continuing its effort to “build out” its virtualization base. Last fall, after working with hundreds of partners to offer its enterprise virtualization tools via hosted services, the company acquired open-source Java framework specialist SpringSource in an effort to help companies deploy applications atop its hypervisors. And now, it wants to offer pre-built applications as well.

This whole idea, Byun says, is to simplify the deployment of enterpriseware. “In pursuing this strategy, we’re also realized – from our cloud service providers and our customers – that there are another pockets of IT complexity that are fairly universal and that require more cost than are needed. These are around core IT infrastructure applications, including email and collaboration.”

Of course I think it would have made for sense for an application like Zimbra to go to a company with a record of success in the commercial open source market, like Red Hat. But then, I’ve been looking for Red Hat to become the new Microsoft for at least the last 10 years now, mostly because it would open up more opportunities for employment there — with the resulting easy commute from Cary to Varsity Drive in Raleigh.