Summer can often be a slower time for business activity, but this week has seen no shortage of interesting M&A activity.
First, Brocade bought Foundry earlier in the week for $3 billion. Brocade and Foundry were both high-flying startups circa 2000. At one point, Brocade had a $30 billion dollar market cap, and Foundry was also in that zone.
But back in reality world, Brocade (and I suspect Foundry) are both trying to figure out how to stay relevant when Cisco has increasingly been able to get customers to implement "all-Cisco" policies for their network.
As someone heavily involved with promoting Ethernet and IP-based storage solutions many years ago, I'm glad to see that Brocade has finally shed its Fibre Channel centric thinking. Not sure that this signals the end of the Fibre Channel switch quite yet, but it is certainly another nail in the coffin.
Second, Microsoft bought DATAllegro today to boost its capabilities in large-scale data warehousing. We have seen many companies emerge in this market space as the conventional methods of scaling data warehouses have not appeared to keep up with the explosion of data being captured. Knowing the ongoing competition between Microsoft and Oracle, it is no surprise that Microsoft is trying to figure out ways to scale data warehousing solutions with a more economical Windows-centric approach.
Business Intelligence (BI) is a huge market. There will be plenty of room for further activity here in startup land. Companies like Microsoft putting money on the line should only increase the amount of attention focused on BI in general.