Summary:

Puppet Labs is acquiring Cloudworks to make it easier for devops people to roll out software updates on servers configured exactly the way they should be, on premise or in the cloud.

PPuppetConf 2012
photo: Pinar Ozger

Puppet Labs, a fan favorite configuration management tool among devops folks, has acquired Cloudsmith to make Puppet tools easier to use and deploy going forward. Devops refers to the movement to get software developers and IT operations people to work together, instead of at cross purposes, to deploy software updates fast and clean.

Cloudsmith, with roots in the Eclipse open-source world,  has two tools that extend Puppet. The first, Geppetto, is an integrated development environment (IDE) where devops people can modify Puppet (see disclosure) modules — commands for introducing components such as web servers, database management and monitoring tools onto servers that are added to a cluster — to meet special in-house needs. The tweaked modules can then be executed through Puppet Enterprise, which Puppet Labs (see disclosure) has been building out.

The Geppetto integrated development environment. Source: Puppet Labs

The Geppetto integrated development environment. Source: Puppet Labs

Second, Cloudsmith’s Stack Hammer takes those custom modules and deposits them on GitHub, where they can be tested and checked for compatibility with other modules, and then deployed on servers provisioned on Amazon Web Services.

Puppet VP of Marketing Scott Johnson said Puppet Labs will build on Stack Hammer’s core technology and will discuss that work at PuppetConf in San Francisco next month.

Stack Hammer could be particularly valuable for VMware, one of Puppet’s big investors. When VMware announced its vCloud Hybrid Service — the company’s long awaited Infrastructure as a Service — the option of taking virtual networking resources running on premises and deploying them on external infrastructure was a selling point. The ability to install Puppet modules on VMware’s Hybrid Service servers in a similar way could be a neat feature.

The devops approach has caught on in the past few years, providing openings for more startups catering to those sorts of people, such as SaltStack, which won GigaOM’s Launchpad competition last month. Expect executives from Pivotal, Prezi, Stackdriver and Server Density to talk about the devops model at GigaOM’s upcoming Structure:Europe conference.

Disclosure: Puppet Labs is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of GigaOM/paidContent. Om Malik, founder of GigaOM, is also a venture partner at True.

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