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VMware Pumps $30 Million into Puppet

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted January 23, 2013


The open source Puppet project has emerged in recent years to become a standard tool in the enterprise technology DevOps landscape. It's a reality that virtualization vendor VMware is now embracing with its wallet.

Puppet Labs today announced it is receiving a $30 million strategic investment from VMware. Puppet Labs and VMware are hardly strangers. In May 2012, Puppet debuted the Razor open source effort along with EMC for bare metal provisioning.

"VMware and EMC are not the same company, but they are pretty close," Luc Kanies, CEO of Puppet Labs, told ServerWatch. "We were talking to some investors and VMware said, we'd love to have a closer relationship."

As a result, VMware is investing in Puppet Labs as well as entering into a commercial agreement to work together on developing, marketing and selling products.

The $30 million will be used by Puppet Labs to do a number of different things. In Kanies' view, the money is primarily about enabling his company to continue on a growth path and be a modern infrastructure management company.

PuppetKanies stressed that the VMware investment is not going to change Puppet Labs' product roadmap.

"We'll still build the same technology, but we'll have people dedicated to make sure the products (VMware and Puppet) work well together in general," Kanies said. "We're not suddenly going to become a VMware company."

Overall, the plan is to support heterogeneity in the Puppet Labs portfolio, supporting multiple technologies and platforms.

Kanies sees the partnership with VMware as helping to truly enable a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).

"This is about VMware's vision and our goal such that enterprises have a single way of talking about infrastructure," Kanies said. "Companies don't want one tool to manage systems and one tool for networking and another for storage. They want one view, and it's not the old school view of duct tape and twine to make things look like one tool."

Acquisition?

VMware's investment in Puppet Labs begs the question – why not just acquire the company? After all, in 2012 VMware acquired SDN vendor Nicira for $1.26 billion to help enable the Software Defined Data Center.

"VMware's acquisition of Nicira was all about getting to the world where everything looks like software and can be managed in one layer ," Kanies said. "Puppet has that same goal, and we want Puppet to be the lingua franca of technology infrastructure."

Kanies noted his goal is to fill a gap that he sees in the IT management space today. In his view, technology management companies work well as independent companies and don't work as well when part of a larger company.

"Our goal is to be an independent company," Kanies said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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