From the article:
For IBM, the third big contender in this emerging field, part of the attraction of Sun is that it has some assets, such as networking gear and data-centre software, which would beef up IBM’s ability to build private clouds. Industry observers think IBM would probably sell many of Sun’s other businesses, however, such as its line of high-end servers. A counter-bid for Sun from HP or Cisco is also possible.
HP, Cisco and IBM (and perhaps Dell, another troubled computer-maker) are gearing up to fight what has come to be called the “war for the data centre”. Much is at stake: this year alone, companies will spend about $100 billion on data centres, according to IDC, a market-research firm. As computing moves online, however, these companies will increasingly have to compete with operators of “public clouds”. Microsoft plans to enter this field, in effect offering to run companies’ computer systems for them inside its own giant data centres. Google is gradually expanding its suite of cloud-based offerings. And Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is also a pioneer in the field of cloud-computing services, which it has been offering for some time.