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7/16/2013
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Puppet Labs Buys Cloudmsith, Open Source Gurus

With Cloudsmith and its developer team, Puppet Labs will be able to move code from GitHub foundry to Amazon EC2; VMware a strategic partner.

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Puppet Labs announced Wednesday that it will acquire Cloudsmith, a seven-person firm noted for its online service that maps dependencies found in complex stacks of open source code.

Cloudsmith represents "a crack team of developers" with experience in creating programming languages, tools, virtual machines and enterprise applications, said Luke Kanies, CEO of the Portland, Ore., firm. All seven members of the company will join Puppet.

The acquisition was possible in part through the $30 million in venture capital that VMware invested in Puppet Labs in January. The VMware share was the largest part of its $46 million in venture capital funding earned to date. Puppet is engaged in a strategic partnership with VMware, and it will make sure its data center operations and IT automation products work with the VMware product line.

VMware wants to enable automated operation between the enterprise data center and a VMware-based public cloud service provider. As the funding was announced, it named Raghu Raghuram, senior VP and general manager of virtualization, to the Puppet board.

[ Learn why there's never been a better time to be a developer. Read: The Developer Is King, Google And Startups Say. ]

Cloudsmith has produced Geppetto, an integrated development environment (IDE) for building Puppet modules. A Puppet module automates a step in software deployment or an IT process. The company also developed Stack Hammer, a service for integrating, testing and deploying collections of Puppet modules as complete "stacks" through integrations with GitHub and Amazon EC2. Both will continue.

Cloudsmith's StackHammer builds software stacks through its knowledge of open source dependencies and stores them in GitHub, the hosting site for open source development projects with the built-in Git revision control system. After they've been worked on in StackHammer, they can be provisioned in virtual machines through the Puppet Enterprise configuration and deployment system, then sent to Amazon Web Services to run.

Cloudsmith has shown a knack for building intuitive graphical user interfaces for complex deployment processes, Kanies said in an interview.

The Puppet-Cloudsmith combination means Puppet will become a larger player in helping system administrators run the software infrastructure. "We're almost talking about DevOps now in some ways," said Kanies, where the development team interacts closely with operations to optimize the performance of its code.

"The operations teams will be able to work directly with the application's business owners and the development team ... We'll reduce the cycle time between development and deployment to production," he said.

Puppet Labs has been doubling its revenues each year for each of the past several years. It has 750 paying customers, an active community of 6,000 developers and 150 employees, Kanies said.

Additional announcements resulting from the acquisition will be made at Puppet's upcoming user group meeting, PuppetConf, Aug. 22-23 in San Francisco.

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