19 March 2002 Systems vendor Sun Microsystems has acquired Clustra Systems, a highly-rated developer of clustered database technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sun was among a group of investors that invested $22 million (€24.9m) in Clustra in 2001.
Oakland, California-based Clustra grew into a 125 employee company, until it was hit by the dot-com crash and a subsequent drying up of venture capital funding combined with a lower than anticipated demand for clustered database software. Sun will be taking on just 40 Clustra employees.
The company says that it has no plans to enter the database software market, but will use Clustra’s technology in the iPlanet Application Server software. Sun took full control of iPlanet yesterday, after three years as a 50/50 joint venture with media giant AOL Time Warner.
Clustra’s technology will enable a transaction being handled on a Sun server to continue even if that particular server crashes during the transaction. It will be incorporated in the next version of iPlanet Application Server, scheduled for release before the end of the year.
Sun needs to incorporate such high-end features into its application server in order to make up for market share lost to IBM WebSphere and BEA Systems’ WebLogic Server. Together, they account for just under 70% of the global application server market, while iPlanet is among the also-rans with a market share of under 10%.
Clustra’s technology will also be used in other Sun products, such as its message queuing software.
Cluster lustre (August 2001)
It is a long-cherished dream of computing: to scale systems simply by plugging in additional server power, but without having to touch data structures or application code. Are the major database vendors now able to deliver on the key elements of that promise?
Clustra adds new dimension to database clustering (Sept 2001)