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VMware Strengthens Influence In Configuration Management Tools

by Matthias Marschall on Feb 08, 2013 |

VMware added $30 million to its initial investment into Puppet Labs, makers of the Open Source configuration management tool Puppet. Together with Chef by Opscode it is one of the tools commonly introduced in companies adopting a DevOps culture.

Luke Kanies, who founded Puppet Labs in 2005, said in his blog post about the new partnership:

DevOps is changing how we deliver and maintain critical services, and especially how development and IT teams work together.

In a comment to his post on the puppet-users Google group he added:

It's all about being able to continue investing in the products.

He told The Wall Street Journals CIO Journal:

Puppet Labs technology is not exclusive to VMware, but about 90% of its customers use VMware’s virtualization technology

Ramin Sayar, vice president & general manager, Cloud Infrastructure & Management at VMware said that they want to work together with Puppet Labs to increase adoption of Puppet as the configuration management solution for any type of infrastructure - no matter whether it consists of physical hardware, VMware, OpenStack, or Amazon Web Services.

Matt Asay, vice president of corporate strategy at 10gen, makes a strong case for Puppet Labs independence in his article on ReadWriteWeb. He even quotes Andrew C. Shafer, Luke Kanies' co-founder of Puppet Labs, saying that the alliance will be great for both companies and that it's important to remember that VMware is used to give Open Source projects some autonomy even after acquisitions. He adds that Puppet Labs' relationship with Open Source communities like OpenStack should be complemented by this investment.

In a recent user discussion on The Register forum Trevor Pott claimed that VMware needs Puppet Labs to build an alliance against Microsoft. He says:

Puppet provides the ability to provision heterogenous environments. VMware is aware of a growing sense of paranoia amongst datacenter operators about getting locked into a single-vendor situation with regards to hypervisors + management tools, much as many fell victim to Microsoft.

VMware seems to be strengthening its influence in other the Open Source projects as well: Mitchell Hashimoto, the maker of Vagrant, confirmed to InfoQ that VMware support for Vagrant matches VirtualBox feature-for-feature and the public should expect a beta soon.

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