VMware Goes Deeper Into DevOps With Puppet Labs Investment


VMware, as part of its vision for data centers controlled entirely by software, is investing $30 million in Puppet Labs, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that has emerged as a central figure in the burgeoning "DevOps" movement.

VMware is also forming a strategic partnership with Puppet Labs, whose software automates time-intensive IT tasks, including provisioning, discovery, configuration management, patch management and infrastructure auditing and compliance.

"VMware and Puppet will work together towards more extensive automation and orchestration across infrastructure and application elements for VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructures, OpenStack and Amazon Web Services," Ramin Sayar, VMware's vice president and general manager of cloud infrastructure and management, said in a Wednesday blog post.

[Related: VMware Updates Cloud Management To Play Nice With Third Parties]

DevOps, a set of processes for collaboration between software developers and IT operations teams, has been making steady inroads in enterprises. Similar in some ways to the Agile software development methodology, DevOps is seen as a way to keep pace with IT complexity and administration demands in large-scale cloud environments.

VMware's software-defined data center strategy hinges on interoperability with other vendors' hypervisors, hardware and public cloud services. It solidified last July when VMware acquired DynamicOps, a Burlington, Mass.-based maker of management software that handles provisioning of apps and services across heterogeneous clouds.

The DynamicOps deal gave VMware's vCloud Director the ability to manage other vendors' public and private cloud resource pools. With the Puppet Labs investment, VMware may be looking to do the same on the development and DevOps side.

"DevOps automation isn't directly addressed by DynamicOps," Chris Ward, CTO at GreenPages, a Kittery, Maine-based VMware partner, said in an email. "And from what I am seeing in the market, the largest uptake of vCloud Director in the commercial market has been for development versus production environments."

VMware may also have political reasons for cozying up to Puppet Labs, which sells commercial software and also offers an open source framework under the Apache 2.0 license. VMware has been looking to raise its profile in the open source community and is a member of OpenStack and the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI).

As the DevOps community is primarily a younger crowd, VMware may be looking to attract interest from an important future pool of talent, Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based subsidiary of Stratos Management Systems, told CRN.

This is VMware's second investment in Puppet Labs. In November 2011, VMware joined Google Ventures and Cisco in an $8.5 million round of Series C financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, True Ventures and Radar Partners.

PUBLISHED JAN. 23, 2013