Oracle and Red Hat: Destined to Dance?Matt Asay (not pictured), the man behind CNet's Open Road blog, speculates that Oracle could go shopping for Red Hat because Red Hat shares are trading near a 52-week low. Alas, The VAR Guy agrees: Oracle has deep pockets and Red Hat would be a good buy for the company. But The VAR Guy hopes it doesn't happen. Here's why.

To Oracle's credit, the company has done a solid job digesting a lengthy list of acquisitions. The VAR Guy was highly skeptical when the company gobbled up PeopleSoft, Siebel and others. Generally speaking, Oracle exceeded expectations in terms of customer retention and revenue growth related to each deal.

Red Hat would be a great fit for Oracle as well. Oracle apps and databases on Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- sold and supported by Oracle and its channel partners -- would give Microsoft's server strategy fits.

Open to Consolidation

But The VAR Guy has higher hopes for Red Hat, Novell, Canonical and other Linux providers. In short, he hopes the open source industry begins to consolidate in a manner that actually benefits customers.

Sun has already snapped up MySQL. Red Hat grabbed JBoss. Imagine the open source landscape if Red Hat, Novell or Canonical start buying up open source application providers.

The VAR Guy can't guarantee it will happen. But at some point, all those open source ERP, CRM, email and collaboration software providers could be nice additions to either the Red Hat, Novell or Canonical server stacks.

Also of note: Linux is a popular platform for driving SaaS (software as a service) applications.

If Oracle launches a preemptive strike by buying Red Hat, it could potentially be a big win for Oracle itself -- but a big loss for the open source and SaaS movements.

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