James Staten

acquisition of DataSynapse for a reported $28 million gives the company a development team
and mature products with which to expand its financial-services revenue and
flesh out its TIBCO Silver cloud computing
platform. The acquisition means two things to application development

  1. TIBCO will use DataSynapse's
    technology to support a variety of existing enterprise applications on its
    Silver cloud middleware. Silver, which is in beta test, today transposes new
    applications built in Java, C++, and several other languages to internal and
    public cloud infrastructure providers. DataSynapse's FabricServer
    software will help customers adapt a variety of existing applications to cloud
    infrastructure as well. These include Java applications based on IBM WebSphere,
    Oracle WebLogic, and Red Hat JBoss, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, IIS, and
    Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, Informatica,
    and SAS Institute, and a variety of vertical-industry specialists. This is a
    substantial expansion of TIBCO Silver's value to customers.
  2. TIBCO will now provide a product for running massively parallel workloads on grids of low-cost Intel servers. Data Synapse's GridServer is used for this purpose by the company's 83 listed customers, most of which are financial-services firms. TIBCO does not currently sell grid solutions, and so this will be add-on business, which is largely not integrated with TIBCO's integration, BPM, BI,
    and portal products. Financial services, life sciences, telecommunications, and
    public-sector organizations use such grids to run big models and simulations.

The big promise of TIBCO's acquisition of Data Synapse is
obviously in the expansion of Silver its technology will enable. Forrester
expects to see a tangle of Silver features from this acquisition during the
second half of 2010 at the earliest, as TIBCO plans to ship the first release
of Silver by the end of the second calendar quarter of 2010.

Forrester clients who have FabricServer installed today should feel good about this acquisition as it expands TIBCO’s reach for Silver and is thus strategic to its future
direction. With stronger financial backing and the expanded sales force, TIBCO
should be able to help push DataSynapse products well beyond its financial
services beachhead.

The obvious question is around GridServer and if TIBCO will make the investment necessary to maintain as well as expand its presence in the grid computing market or
simply poach the technology purely for fleshing out Silver. We recommend
GridServer customers take a cautious wait and see approach.

Customers considering TIBCO Silver should take a look at Fabric Server making sure to understand its means of rehosting applications and how it provides shared services and
scalability benefits as a sign of things to come from Silver.

By John Rymer and James Staten

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