VMware has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra, a vendor of e-mail and collaboration software, from Yahoo!.

Zimbra is a leading open source e-mail and collaboration solution with more than 55-million mailboxes.  As an independent Yahoo! product division, Zimbra achieved 2009 mailbox growth of 86% overall and 165% among small and medium business customers.
Based on a modern, flexible architecture designed for virtualisation and cloud-scale infrastructure, the Zimbra technology provides substantially lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions.
Zimbra products offer a full enterprise feature set, excellent interoperability with legacy email environments and have been deployed across small and large environments; as on-premise software at thousands of small and medium businesses, distributed enterprises, and as a hosted service at major service providers.
“Over the coming years, we expect more organisations, especially small and medium size businesses, to increasingly buy core IT solutions that deliver cloud-like simplicity in end-user and operational experience,” says Brian Byun, vice-president and GM: Cloud Services at VMware. “Zimbra is a great example of the type of scalable ‘cloud era’ solutions that can span smaller, on-premise implementations to the cloud. It will be a building block in an expanding portfolio of solutions that can be offered as a virtual appliance or by a cloud service provider. We are excited to welcome the Zimbra team and community to the VMware family.”
Chris Norton, regional director for VMware Southern Africa, adds: “We are pleased that through this acquisition we are making great strides in further simplifying IT as we target the complexity found with datacenters, desktops, application development and core IT services. By leveraging the Zimbra acquisition we are now able to offer our customers even more choice and extend that to meet email and collaboration needs.”
VMware plans to support existing Zimbra products and open source efforts while optimising Zimbra products for vSphere-based cloud infrastructure, alongside Microsoft, IBM and other messaging and collaboration solutions.
Under the terms of the agreement, VMware will purchase all Zimbra technology and intellectual property. Yahoo! will have the right to continue to utilise the Zimbra technology in its communications services, including Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Calendar.
“The Zimbra technology has played and will continue to play an important role in our communications services products. The technology is core to Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Calendar and a key differentiator for these leading products,” says Bryan Lamkin, senior vice-president of Yahoo! “The customers and partners of Zimbra’s industry-leading product and successful enterprise business will be well served with VMware.”