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Samsung Says It Wants To Maintain Joyent's Independence While Becoming Its Largest Customer

Joyent's CEO told CRN the acquisition by the South Korean tech conglomerate will deliver to partners greater reach and faster container-tech development, but little else will change.

Joyent, the cloud pioneer with a reputation as a technology innovator, had aggressively maintained its independence for years in a rapidly consolidating market. That all changed Thursday with the announcement that the San Francisco-based company would be acquired by Samsung and become a subsidiary of the South Korean tech conglomerate.

So how will the company’s acquisition impact partners implementing container-based solutions using Joyent’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service and on-premise technologies for building cloud systems?

It probably won’t at all, Joyent CEO Scott Hammond told CRN, beyond giving them greater international reach and an accelerated product development schedule.

[Related: Here’s Who Made Gartner’s 2015 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant]

Joyent will maintain a large degree of independence as a Samsung subsidiary and has no plans to cede control of how it runs its partner program and works with systems integrators that deploy solutions on its platform, Hammond said.

But under the umbrella of the global tech giant and mobile device leader, Joyent will gain the largest user it has ever had for its container-native technology, which will fuel product advances and provide a powerful demonstration of the efficacy of its infrastructure.

’As a result of this acquisition, Joyent will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung and Samsung will be our largest and most-strategic customer,’ Hammond told CRN.

While many early cloud operators—SoftLayer, GoGrid, Virtustream—were being gobbled up by tech behemoths, Joyent resisted offers from larger companies.

The decision to finally agree to a sale was motivated by the need to scale Joyent's business faster, and the synergistic nature of Samsung’s own goals for hosting its burgeoning portfolio of mobile and web applications, Hammond said.

’As the market for public cloud and private on-prem cloud is heating up, what made sense was an opportunity to turbo-charge our business with additional financial strength, global reach, and alignment around the end-market we serve,’ Hammond said.

Many customers are using Joyent’s platform to build modern applications for the web, mobile devices and Internet of Things, he told CRN. That creates a strong alignment with Samsung’s goals in the market as a leader in mobile devices and tablet computers.

The cloud operator’s CEO assured partners they will be in good hands with Samsung.

Jacopo Lenzi, Samsung’s senior vice president of business development, told CRN that Samsung pursued the acquisition because it was looking to take control of its own infrastructure as it grows its product line.

’As Samsung continues to drive Software-as-a-Service, we knew we needed to build internal capabilities around cloud,’ he said.

Samsung ’is a huge consumer of public cloud’ and saw an acquisition as an opportunity to improve cost efficiencies, Lenzi said. Joyent delivers Samsung a proven technology platform and ’a world-class team we’re excited to have [as] part of our broader organization.’

Samsung is committed to supporting Joyent’s work developing its Triton container orchestration and Manta object storage services while ’maintaining their independence as their own business,’ Lenzi said.

Jeff Dickey, chief innovation officer at Redapt, a Joyent systems integration partner based in Redmond, Wash., said the acquisition will not only boost Joyent’s infrastructure capabilities, but will serve as a powerful use-case for evangelizing Joyent’s cloud and the underlying container technology the provider has long championed.

’It’s good for us because it’s going to grow the Joyent platform we know how to integrate really well,’ Dickey told CRN. ’It’ll give Joyent the push it needs in the market to shake up the whole container space and get folks really using it.’

In that sense, Dickey said he was more excited about Samsung’s role as a customer than an owner.

’I’m hoping they are very public about their use with Triton and the public cloud and really evangelize what they’re doing as one of the largest infrastructure companies in the world, so the folks who want to be like Google, Samsung and Apple can really step up and start using similar technologies,’ Dickey said.

Right now, many enterprises are testing container technology, but few are deploying containers at scale, Dickey told CRN.

As a general rule, developers understand containers well, DevOps teams have some competency with the technology, and IT people don’t understand it at all, according to Dickey.

’This is really going to put it in a better perspective for how containers will be used to run massive, massive infrastructure like Samsung does,’ he said. ’We’re excited to see such power and money behind the Joyent platform.’

Joyent currently operates four data centers in North America and has a presence in Europe. Under the Samsung corporate umbrella, the plan is to expand the footprint across those continents and into Asia, said Hammond.

’As we see more companies starting to bring solutions into the container space, it’s important to us to get to the marketplace and reach those customers very early as they’re making decisions about what tools to use, what platforms to run on, how they’re going to architect those apps,’ Hammond told CRN. ’So this is really the right time for us to put our foot on the gas.’

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