EMC acquires part of SourceLabs

EMC has entered into a partial acquisition deal with SourceLabs, an open source support software company.

A spokesperson for the computing giant yesterday confirmed that it had snapped up some of the company's assets in addition to a number of employees, adding that the fruits of the acquisition would operate within EMC's cloud infrastructure business.

EMC appears to be remaining fairly tight-lipped about the finer details of its purchase, news of which started sweeping the internet over the weekend. What started in one post soon gathered extra facts as more and more sources came forward. Although is it still unclear exactly which assets have been acquired.

According to one report, SourceLabs will form part of a recently created part of EMC called Deco, which provides personal storage solutions, but again so far this is just speculation.

This doubt may come from the fact that it is unclear how the companies will fit together, or at least benefit each other. Decho offers backup and cloud based services and has plans to increase these in the future. This could benefit from SourceLabs' engineering capabilities as well as access to its open source community members.

Stewart Buchanan, research director in Gartner's IT Asset Management and Procurement group, said there would be many synergies between the two firms. Decho and SourceLabs are based in close proximity in Seattle, while the open source credentials of the latter would undoubtedly assist the former as it seeks to exploit the cloud possibilities.

"It would suit a fusion with Decho", he said, "The mass market cloud opportunities tend to be closely associated with the open source community because of their high volume demand and low cost. These are definite synergies."

SourceLabs offers solutions that provide support, update services and management for a wide number of enterprise open source applications, and EMC may have wanted to get a foothold in this camp. SourceLabs also runs a Wikipedia-like website called SWiK, an open source community project which apparently has some more than one million unique visitors each month, and is backed and ran by executives and engineers from firms including Amazon.com, BEA Systems, Computer Associates, Microosft and PeopleSoft.

It may be this that appeals to EMC as it offers a ready-built open source community foothold, and perhaps more importantly SourceLabs has an existing and high profile enterprise customer base that includes financial companies.