Enterprise software giant Oracle is acquiring Nimbula, private cloud infrastructure management technology provider. Nimbula solutions are designed to assist users in managing their cloud infrastructure resources and also work in public and hybrid cloud environments.


Oracle’s official announcement of the purchase is extremely brief, only stating that “Nimbula's product is complementary to Oracle, and is expected to be integrated with Oracle's cloud offerings” -- and the Nimbula site simply directs visitors to Oracle for more information about the acquisition. Nimbula’s flagship product - Nimbula Director – is IaaS software that allows users to develop, test and host public, private and hybrid clouds.

The company states that Nimbula Director, which also offers HPC, batch processing and analytics and elastic Hadoop capabilities, is “similar to Amazon EC2.” Nimbula also joined the OpenStack Community with the stated goals of “transforming Nimbula Director into the most enterprise ready, scalable, reliable, and flexible OpenStack distribution while also contributing meaningfully back to the project and community” -- there is no word yet as to whether Oracle’s acquisition will change this.

Oracle Reaches for the Cloud

Oracle has been making notable purchases of various cloud-based technology providers in recent months. In December 2012, Oracle spent a reputed US$ 871 million to purchase Eloqua, a cloud-based Marketing Automation provider that had been positioning itself as a revenue performance management company. Earlier that same month Oracle also bought up a company called DataRaker, a cloud-based analytics company focused primarily on electric, gas and water utilities.

As CMSWire observed at the time of the Eloqua purchase, “Oracle and its competitors like Salesforce, IBM and SAP have all been busy moving all kinds of products into the cloud.” Nimbula is not as significant an acquisition as Eloqua, but still signals Oracle’s continuing desire to reach for the cloud. 

Making Nimbula Fit 

According to an InformationWeek article, Oracle’s purchase of Nimbula is a little surprising because its architectural strategy does not mesh well with Oracle’s architectural strategy. “Nimbula is meant to govern a scale-out set of standard x86 servers, allow self-provisioning by users and chargeback based on hourly use,” states InformationWeek. “Oracle's cloud products are based on hardware arranged in a proprietary appliance with a proprietary software stack, which are sold as a unit with an upfront license fee.”

One possibility the article floats is that Oracle will use Nimbula as “insurance” against being left behind in a cloud marketplace migrating to an open cloud model, with Nimbula Director providing a “bridge” to an open source environment.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013. Details have not been released.