Dog Bites Man: EMC Acquires Greenplum

by: Dennis Byron

I feel I should say something about EMC acquring Greenplum.

There is an Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) part of the story. Scott McNealy is a Greenplum adviser and is quoted in the EMC press release. Did he advise Greenplum to sell out to EMC rather than to the remnants of his former company over at Oracle? Sun (JAVA) was a big Greenplum partner but EMC was a partner as well.

There is a VMware (NYSE:VMW) part of the story. Why didn't EMC fold Greenplum into VMware rather than creating another shareholder-value-sapping business division?

There is an open source part of the story.

  • Greenplum products are built on top of the open source PostgreSQL database. If McNealy advised Greenplum against being acquired by Oracle, that may be why. PostgreSQL is the major competitor of Oracle's open source database, MySQL.
  • Greenplum appears to be kind of a poster child for the free vs. open-core open source story wrapped around the "Why Compiere Failed" debate. I don't know enough about Greenplum's licensing terms and conditions but it appears from its web site that Greenplum offers a core version free but it is not clear if it does so under an open source license.

There is a Netezza (NZ) part of the story. Informationweek explains it here so no sense of me repeating. This is really a pure-play vs. integrated stack story (not to mention enteprise-software vs. appliance story). In the end, the whole pure-play vs. full-quiver supplier debate gets lost in the cloud.

There is supposedly a cloud computing part of the story but that is just buzzword du jour PR.

In the end, I really have nothing to say about EMC acquirng Greenplum. I just wish EMC would give me the value of VMware that it never passed on to investors at the time of the VMW IPO.

Disclosure: I own a trivial amount of EMC only because their HQ is a mile from my former home and if I had bought EMC when they first put up that stupid plywood sign on South St. in 1988 I wouldn't be still writing this blog. I have been waiting patiently for a long time for lightning to strike twice.