Of more serious concern is the lack of life-cycle policy information for community users. "If you look at the life-cycle policy carefully, it promises the extended support for enterprise customers," Poodle says. "There is no mention of community."
He says users of the community edition had to haggle with Oracle to get the latest security patch for the software. "It took a lot of fighting," Poodle says. (Oracle did not respond to requests for comment by press time.)
Users who've experienced one of their primary vendors being acquired suggest being proactive in opening up the lines of communication with the acquiring company -- especially if the acquirer is unfamiliar.
This helped Techevolution, a New England-based IT consultancy and data center collocation company that went through Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic, to avoid any hiccups in the transition. EqualLogic supplies Techevolution's iSCSI storage arrays and Dell acquired the company in 2007 for $1.4 billion.
"We were worried -- you never know what's going to happen -- but it went very, very smooth from the transition of tech support to new equipment that we purchased from Dell," says Techevolution CEO Corey Tapper.
Techevolution ran a tech support "fire drill" shortly after Dell closed the EqualLogic deal by disabling a drive in one of its EqualLogic arrays. "Dell had the same [outage] response, if not faster," Tapper says.. "I thought that was really, really impressive."
He recommends users be proactive in learning as much about the acquiring company and its strategy as possible, while maintaining and even accelerating dialogue with the supplier being acquired.
"Some people buy equipment and never talk to their vendor again unless something breaks or they go and buy something five years later," Tapper says. "We were constantly talking to our vendors. Being prepared and knowing who the new parties are and getting acquainted with them is really important, because if you don't know them, one day you wake up and you're married to a new company. You don't know what the protocol is for the new company, and that could cause some grief."
LINX isn't grieving, thanks to open lines of communication with Brocade. Though there was some consternation around unfamiliarity with Brocade, uncertainty with the Foundry product road map and cultural differences between the companies, Souter says he's encouraged by the transaction.
"I think Brocade appears to have an absolutely ruthless dedication to quality that we certainly didn't see in the old Foundry company," Souter says. "The Brocade approach is just what we liked.