With Data Synapse, TIBCO Looks to Both Present and Future

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

1. TIBCO will use Data Synapse'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. DataSynapse'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 unintegrated 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. Expect to see this expansion during the second half of 2010 -- after TIBCO ships the first release of Silver by the end of the second quarter of 2010. In the meantime, developers interested in TIBCO's cloud platform should start studying how FabricServer rehosts applications to virtualized enviornments -- as well as its applicability to their application porfolios.

GridServer customers should engage with TIBCO on its plans to invest in that product. If TIBCO views GridServer as a mature "cash cow" product, it is unlikely to create new features for it. Determine whether or not TIBCO's plans for the product fit your requirements both for new functions and cost economics.

Note: Forrester Principal Analyst James Staten contributed to this blog post. An early version of this blog post appeared accidentally on 24 August 2009.