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Oracle-Citrix acquisition hits the rumor mill

Oracle is finalizing its deal for Sun Microsystems and already bought Virtual Iron. But an even bigger virtualization acquisition — Oracle-Citrix Systems — may be on the horizon.

Oracle is sizing up Citrix for a possible acquisition, according to (via The Register). The move would give Oracle its biggest stake yet in the virtualization market — not only in server virtualization, where Oracle VM hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire, but in desktop virtualization, where Citrix is the leader.

Still, an Oracle-Citrix acquisition wouldn’t guarantee virtualization success. A lot depends on what Oracle would do with Citrix’s technology and products. If Oracle were to take the same approach it took with Virtual Iron — discontinuing its products and canceling its reseller agreements — Citrix customers would be up in arms.

Plus, the whole open source issue would come into play with an Oracle-Citrix acquisition. Even though Oracle VM is based on Xen, Oracle is first and foremost a proprietary software company. There would inevitably be friction with the open source community.

As an aside, it would also be fascinating to see the interactions between two of the industry’s most outspoken and controversial executives (Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Citrix CTO Simon Crosby). Here’s some reaction from around the Web to the Oracle-Citrix acquisition rumors:

Tarry Singh, Sustainable Global Clouds: “VMware and other players will be stunned … Oracle has already declared war on many fronts and by doing a Citrix acquisition it will definitely make a massive statement to the virtualization market.”

Jesse Freund, Cisco analyst relations manager: “Oracle buying Citrix: Um, why? They already have duplicates and triplicates of those assets. Other than to annoy Microsoft, of course.”

Gabriel Pagan, virtualization consultant: “Oracle buying Citrix? Makes no sense, Citrix is too much up Microsoft’s [rear] for Oracle”

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