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IBM Acquires Managed OpenStack Vendor BlueBox

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted June 3, 2015

Privately-held OpenStack vendor BlueBox is being acquired by IBM. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

Blue Box has raised a total of $26.6 million in funding, with the most recent $14 million announced in October 2014. Blue Box provides a managed approach to OpenStack deployment, OpenStack with both a hosted version and a newly announced on-premises edition available.

"The challenge is that many vendors have approached OpenStack as simply a software problem, which we fundamentally believe is a flawed approach," Blue Box Founder and CTO Jesse Proudman said when the on-premises edition was announced.

"The complexity of OpenStack and distributed systems is much more difficult to manage than a traditional software implementation," Proudman continued.

Core to the Blue Box model is the Box Panel, which is a management dashboard for cloud operations. Blue Box also has its own OpenStack distribution known as Ursula.

IBM's Interest in Blue Box

IBM sees its acquisition of Blue Box as a way to help its customers manage and deploy clouds.

"The acquisition of Blue Box accelerates IBM's open cloud strategy, making it easier for our clients to move data and applications across clouds and adopt hybrid cloud environments," IBM General Manager of Cloud Services Jim Comfort said in a statement.

IBM's last major cloud acquisition was with Softlayer in 2013. As opposed to Blue Box, Softlayer initially was not an OpenStack-focused operation, as Softlayer's primary focus was on the rival Cloudstack platform. IBM itself has been an active member of the OpenStack Foundation and has a seat on the board of directors.

"No brand is more respected in IT than IBM," Proudman said in a statement. "Together, we will deliver the technology and products businesses need to give their application developers an agile, responsive infrastructure across public and private clouds."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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