Oracle snags former Nebula techies for its cloud effort

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REDWOOD SHORES, CA - MARCH 20: The Oracle logo is displayed at Oracle headquarters on March 20, 2012 in Redwood Shores, California. Oracle will report third quarter earnings today after the closing bell. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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That didn’t take long. A little over a month ago, cloud company Nebula closed up shop. This week, Oracle said it’s hired 40 of Nebula’s engineers, according to Re/Code.

Oracle (ORCL) cloud chief Peter Magnusson, a former top technologist at Google and Snapchat, told the publication that Oracle approached the group soon after news of Nebula’s demise.

It’s easy to see why. Nebula focused on OpenStack, a hot niche of open-source cloud software that many companies are looking to use in their future infrastructure. Most big companies that now run their own servers on-premises or in data centers, see cloud computing as a more flexible and possibly cheaper way to run their applications and store their data.

Former NASA Chief Technology Officer Chris Kemp, one of the original developers of OpenStack, founded Nebula to provide hardware appliances that would plug OpenStack directly into existing data centers, making it easier to incorporate into existing infrastructure.

Nebula received about $40 million in venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Highland Capital Partners, Comcast Ventures and Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Scott McNealy.

OpenStack is the open-source software companies can use to build their own private cloud, which lets them run their applications in a flexible way on their own hardware.

Because of a big push to cloud computing by businesses, OpenStack skills are in huge demand, and it’s not unprecedented for gaggles of techies to move en masse. Seven Rackspace OpenStack developers all moved to Nebula a few years back, for example.

Oracle itself is a little late to OpenStack, but it’s getting there. It bought Nimbula, a small OpenStack player, two years ago, and a few months later joined the OpenStack Foundation.

For more about cloud computing, watch this Fortune video:

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