Money might make the world go round, but the market for virtualization software can make your head spin.
Rule Breaker VMware's
But that's not happening. For one, data management specialist EMC
Elsewhere in the wide world of virtualization, speculation has been building that Oracle
Here's how I think things will shake out over the next couple of years:
- Microsoft could very well make a grab for Citrix, which carries a dainty $4.3 billion market cap and sells mostly desktop-oriented software that would complement Microsoft's own while braiding neatly into Redmond's prized Office suite and other applications.
- Oracle wants to play, and Virtual Iron makes lots of sense. Larry Ellison doesn't have a real foothold in this market yet, so any product will do. Furthermore, big-iron server systems and their virtual brethren tend to get along famously with Oracle's mainline database products.
- I don't think Cisco will reach for the virtualization market at all. This company knows networking inside and out, and will continue to tailor its switches and routers to support virtual machines. But that'll be an in-house thrust. Nobody else gets close to Cisco's technical prowess here, and I bet John Chambers can find plenty of opportunities to grow by acquisition in other areas without entering the virtualization hornets' nest.
So if you want to play the buyout angle, I'd suggest that you read up on Citrix. But at these prices, you really can't go wrong with the current and future niche market leader: VMware.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but runs virtual servers in his closet. He's a major nerd and proud of it. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.