Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/12/azul_hurt/

Azul puts itself on the block

Vega, what has become of you?

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Servers, 12th September 2007 23:08 GMT

Exclusive Things at Azul Systems are as bad as we feared, according to numerous sources.

Earlier today, we revealed that Azul had laid off a huge chunk of its staff and struggled through a recent financing round. We, however, thought this might be a company trying to trim costs in order to keep pushing gear. Not so, according to our sources.

The reason CEO Stephen DeWitt has failed to respond to us is because he informed the board he would be leaving a few weeks back, The Register has learned. DeWitt now shows up now and again at the office just to make sure a few of the lights are on.

Meanwhile, Azul is seeking an acquirer.

It has stopped work on future products and let go of any non-essential staff. It's also using a recent funding round to pay down debt, hoping to make itself that much more attractive to someone.

But who the heck would buy a server appliance start-up that relies on homespun silicon?

Er, well, Sun Microsystems seems like the only candidate since it's willing to do the unusual chip thing and since it has a 5 per cent stake in the company due to a legal settlement. Besides that, the integration with Sun would be really, really easy since there's so much shared technology and so many ex Sun staff on board.

Sun does have Azul in an awkward position, as both companies know the realities of the market.

Anyone still kicking at Azul can contact me by clicking on the byline.

In the meantime, we understand that Java server appliances are available cheap in Silicon Valley. ®