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IBM’s Acquisition Spree Continues With Plans To Buy DevOps Startup BoxBoat

With IBM’s acquisition of Kubernetes startup BoxBoat, which is expected to close this quarter, Big Blue will have acquired 11 companies over the past 12 months.

IBM’s acquisition engine is on full throttle as it unveils plans to buy its 11th company over the past 12 months—DevOps and Kubernetes startup BoxBoat. The news comes just weeks after IBM closed its purchase of application and network performance management star Turbonomic.

IBM has already spent millions in 2021 acquiring Salesforce specialists 7Summits and Waeg; hybrid cloud consulting firm Taos; myInvenio for AI automation; and container and Kubernetes security specialist StackRox.

Since July 2020, IBM has also purchased hybrid cloud consultant Nordcloud; WDG for AI automation; SAP specialist TruQua Enterprises; as well as AIOps standout Instana. In arguably the biggest IT acquisition of 2019, IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion.

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Many of IBM’s acquisitions over the past year are focused around significantly expanding IBM’s multi-cloud transformation, management expertise and hybrid cloud capabilities such as its buys of Nordcloud, Taos, StackRox and BoxBoat.

The acquisition of BoxBoat, which comes just one week since Jim Whitehurst’s sudden exit as president of IBM, is aimed at driving Red Hat OpenShift adoption and boosting Big Blue’s hybrid cloud strategy.

“No cloud modernization project can succeed without a containerization strategy, and BoxBoat is at the forefront of container services innovation,” said John Granger, senior vice president of IBM’s hybrid cloud services, in a statement. “Our clients require a cloud architecture that allows them to operate across a traditional IT environment, private cloud and public clouds. That’s at the heart of our hybrid cloud approach.”

Bethesda, Md.-based BoxBoat was founded in 2016 with the goal of helping customers implement Kubernetes and containers to enable hybrid cloud environments, specifically in complex cloud consulting projects. BoxBoat—which also partners with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud—advises many of the Fortune 100 companies as well as government agencies on best practices, modernizing existing DevOps solutions and containerizing mission-critical workloads.

Financial terms of the BoxBoat deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close this quarter.

IT research firm Gartner predicts that by 2025 more than 85 percent of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, which is an increase from fewer than 35 percent in 2019. Kubernetes is open-source software for deploying and managing containers, which is rapidly becoming the preferred way to build digital services at scale and across clouds.

“We founded BoxBoat on the idea that containers and DevOps would become an industry standard with the potential to transform enterprise IT with lightning-fast application deployment workflows,” said BoxBoat CEO Tim Hohman in a statement. “Joining IBM will allow us to realize a shared vision of helping clients innovate by successfully deploying container-based applications on-premises and to the cloud.”

BoxBoat delivers a full suite of services that include customized strategies for Kubernetes and enterprise container platform adoption, application containerization, DevSecOps, training and enablement. IBM said BoxBoat guides enterprises on the right tooling, business strategy, workflows and processes to meet their DevOps goals.

BoxBoat is joining IBM Global Business Services’ quickly growing hybrid cloud services business. The startup is seeking to enhance IBM’s capacity to meet rising demand for containers and the processing components of the cloud digital transformation. BoxBoat engineers are active open-source contributors as well as experts in Kubernetes admins, Kubernetes application development and AWS, Docker, GitLab, Google Cloud Platform, Hashicorp, Kubernetes and Microsoft Azure technologies.

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