SpringSource Acquires Hyperic's Operations Intelligence

CEO Rod Johnson says he's wanted to bring Hyperic HQ Enterprise systems management in-house since 2007.
SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson announced on Monday his company is acquiring the open source systems management company Hyperic. It's the third open source firm acquisition by SpringSource in 16 months. Both companies are privately held and no price was disclosed.

With a few exceptions where jobs directly overlap, the 40 employees of Hyperic will be absorbed by SpringSource, with Hyperic CEO Javier Soltero becoming the CTO of management products in combined company. SpringSource will have 150 employees after the acquisition, Johnson said in an interview.

"Hyperic HQ is a business intelligence product for operations," said Johnson. It's important after code is developed to deploy it successfully, manage its operation, and add updates and modifications when needed. HQ will help SpringSource supply these capabilities to the code produced by the Spring framework and tools after it has been implemented in operations, Johnson said.

Johnson said SpringSource wanted to bring Hyperic HQ Enterprise systems management in-house because since 2007 it's been incorporating HQ management into its product line. "SpringSource is trying to create a unified story from development through application life-cycle management," he said.

SpringSource is the supplier of the Spring framework, an open source Java development platform that automates the underlying plumbing and use of APIs of Java Enterprise Edition. Oracle, IBM, and other Java tool makers recognize Spring framework as a widely used Java development platform.

Over the last year, SpringSource has ventured beyond supplying products for code development into providing products for code deployment. Last October, it released the SpringSource dm Java application server, which invokes OSGi or standardized object-handling principles, and at the end of April it released SpringSource tc, an enterprise version of the Apache Tomcat server for running Java applications.

"The SpringSource tc server opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for what Hyperic's HQ can do," said Soltero. In January it launched Hyperic Operations IQ for collecting and reporting information on Web application performance and conformance with service-level agreements.

"If you use SpringSource technology, we're going to give you an amazingly simple way to manage your application's life cycle," Johnson said. Simplifying the complex Java Enterprise Edition has made SpringSource into a rapidly growing open source company. Its framework is GPL code available for free download. SpringSource sells support for it and related products, such as the Eclipse-based SpringSource Tool Suite; SpringSource Application Management Suite; and SpringSource Oracle DB Pack.

By moving from code development into middleware, SpringSource has become an unexpected challenger of better-established ways of deploying Java applications, including IBM WebSphere, Oracle's WebLogic, and even Red Hat's JBoss open source application server, although its stock in trade is producing lighter-weight and easier-to-manage Java applications for Web sites. SpringSource's acquisition brings some old associates back together. In 2003, engineering staff members at Covalent became invested in building an application management product. Covalent decided it wanted to concentrate on its Apache software expertise and not branch out into a new business, so it released the code in 2004 to its developer backers, who founded Hyperic. In January 2008, SpringSource bought Covalent, and today, its spin-off.

In November, SpringSource acquired GoToOne, the supplier of a rapid development scripting language platform for Java that resembled Ruby on Rails, called Groovy and Grails.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the current state of open source adoption. Download the report here (registration required).

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