Cobalt Networks, Inc.
Founded1996; 28 years ago (1996)
FounderVivek Mehra
DefunctDecember 7, 2000; 23 years ago (2000-12-07)
FateAcquired by Sun Microsystems
HeadquartersMountain View, California
RevenueIncrease $22 million (1999)
Decrease -$23 million (1999)
Total assetsIncrease $151 million (1999)
Total equityIncrease $130 million (1999)
Number of employees
140 (1999)
Footnotes / references
Cobalt RaQ 2
Cobalt Qube - a computer server appliance

Cobalt Networks was a maker of low-cost Linux-based servers and server appliances based in Mountain View, California. The company had 1,900 end user customers in more than 70 countries.[1]

During the dot-com bubble, the company had a market capitalization of $6 billion despite only $22 million in annual revenue.

In 2000, the company was acquired by Sun Microsystems and in December 2003, Sun shut down the Cobalt product line.[2]

Cobalt was considered a pioneering server appliance vendor, the first to market a 1 RU rackmounted server, and was credited by the founder of RLX Technologies as paving the way for blade servers.[2]


The company was founded in 1996 by Vivek Mehra as Cobalt Microserver. In June 1998, the company changed its name to Cobalt Networks, Inc.[3]

The company introduced products as follows:[1]

Product Launch date
Cobalt Qube March 1998
Cobalt Cache July 1998
Cobalt RaQ September 1998
Cobalt NAS April 1999
Cobalt Management Console October 1999

On November 5, 1999, the company became a public company via an initial public offering. Its stock price rose as much as 618% above its $22/share initial price.[4]

On March 23, 2000, the company announced the acquisition of Chilisoft from Charlie Crystle for 1.15 million shares of Cobalt common stock, then valued at $69.9 million.[5][6]

In September 2000, Sun Microsystems announced the acquisition of the company for $2 billion in stock.[7] The acquisition was completed on December 7, 2000.

Many disgruntled engineers left the company in the months following the acquisition.[8]

In December 2003, Sun shut down the Cobalt product line.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Commerce One, Inc. 2000 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ a b c Vance, Ashlee (December 18, 2003). "Sun drives the final nail in Cobalt's coffin". The Register.
  3. ^ "Company Overview of Cobalt Networks, Inc". Bloomberg L.P.
  4. ^ "Cobalt IPO rockets". CNN. November 5, 1999.
  5. ^ "COBALT NETWORKS IS BUYING CHILISOFT FOR $70 MILLION". The New York Times. Dow Jones & Company. March 24, 2000.
  6. ^ Uimonen, Terho (March 23, 2000). "Cobalt to Acquire Chili Soft in $70M Deal". Computerworld.
  7. ^ FISHER, LAWRENCE M. (September 20, 2000). "Sun Microsystems to Acquire Cobalt for $2 Billion in Stock". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Loney, Matt (January 5, 2004). "How to blow a billion--or two". ZDNet.