Feeds

Chambers' Cisco not interested in Sun's body

Speed-dating king could use the brains

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cisco Systems chief executive has taken his company out of the running for a possible Sun Microsystems acquisition.

John Chambers has reportedly said if his networking giant and server wannabe were interested in a deal, then that deal would have happened by now.

"Cisco moves very rapidly on acquisitions," he said. "If we were going to be in an area, we would probably have already moved."

Of course, if Cisco is interested, then a denial would be the best way to help get Sun at a good price.

Companies and Wall St traders are known for using the media to talk down stock prices of competitors and also of companies that they are potentially interested in buying.

Sun's stock was down again in the wake of Chambers' reported comments, trading at $6 a share - down 2.4 per cent on Wednesday morning. At the same time, Cisco's stock was worth nearly three times that of Sun's, trading at $17.71.

Sun is still going cheap, and is affordable. It's sitting on a cash pile of $2.64bn, less than half of a few years' back. Cisco has cash of $29.5bn.

While the numbers might work, though, it would be difficult to see why Cisco would be interested in buying the whole of Sun. Yes, there's talk of Cisco's move into applications and middleware, but that assumes Sun has products or a strategy worth buying in the first place.

As a whole, it doesn't, but there are pieces that might be attractive. Java and MySQL could make sense on network, server, and device hardware.

Judging by last week's $150m purchase of Tidal and the work with BMC on its California Unified Computing System, Cisco seems more interested in the field of application and systems performance and life-cycle management. That puts Cisco on track for potential competition with IBM on Tivoli and Hewlett-Packard on OpenView.

That leaves the actual server hardware. Cisco couldn't do wrong by getting hold of Sun's engineering brains - especially on multi-core, virtualization, and blade-server engineering - and on manufacturing facilities to help build more Unified Computing Systems.

Chambers might be right: a deal for the whole of Sun would have happened by now, if Cisco were interested. A deal for the parts, though, could be back on the table as Sun's investors turn to Plan B after the Plan A of a company acquisition by IBM is off the table.

Plan B has been floated before, after all, when Oracle and HP teamed up to divvy up Sun's assets, with each taking software and hardware. Just now, with IBM out of the frame, the investors will be keener than ever to achieve their overall goal of realizing Sun's "true economic value". ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.