On May 16, 2014, Oracle entered into an agreement to acquire GreenBytes, a provider of ZFS technology, for an undisclosed price. In addition to expertise in areas related to ZFS, GreenBytes has developed a deduplication, replication, and virtualization overlay for it. (Rather bizarrely, in a tussle with the then-giant in 2009, GreenBytes accused Sun of stealing its deduplication technology.) 

Now, an agreement to purchase is not a definite acquisition, but it is a major milestone on the way to ownership change.

What makes this an odd purchase is that in 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, the company that originally wrote the ZFS file system.

Why Would Oracle Need GreenBytes?

Why would Oracle need GreenBytes? Most likely because the exodus of ZFS skills after the purchase of Sun left Oracle bereft of the ability to enhance its ZFS offerings. It is no surprise that 2009 was a golden time for ZFS-based storage startups such as Nexenta and Joyent, which started with engineers from Sun.

The fact is that Oracle is no longer an innovator, but rather an acquirer of technology. It will buy up companies that interest it, often with no apparent logical reason for doing so. Hopefully, this particular purchase will, as stated in the announcement on Oracle’s web page, lead to the enhancement of Oracle’s current NFS filers. A bigger worry is that Oracle also has a history of purchasing companies that are then never heard of again—anybody remember Xsigo?

Want more information, please refer to the Oracle acquisitions site.

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Tom Howarth (71 Posts)

Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.

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