Three Quick Thoughts On The Puppet Labs Partnership With VMware

This week, Puppet Labs announced VMware’s investment of $30 million. This is a huge investment by VMware, and one that bears significant implications for cloud automation and IT automation more generally. Puppet’s total capital raise now stands at $46 million. The company boasts more than 700 paying customers and 3.5 million product downloads in the last year.

Some quick thoughts about the investment’s significance and implications:

•VMware’s investment in Puppet Labs represents much more than an infusion of cash. The investment points toward a “strategic partnership for delivering IT management solutions that will enable customers to fully realize the agility and productivity benefits of virtualization and cloud in heterogeneous, multi-vendor IT environments.” Given VMware’s positioning with respect to the enterprise as a result of its server virtualization technology, the investment stands to offer Puppet a clear road deep into the enterprise IT market in ways that could well propel it into the undisputed market leader in IT automation. The partnership represents a huge coup for Puppet because it maintains the independence of its product roadmap while concurrently earning the opportunity to let its technology complement the most powerful, respected and profitable company in the virtualization space.

•VMware’s investment reveals that DevOps holds one of the keys to cloud adoption and success. By DevOps we mean the ability of development resources to optimize the operational issues specific to deploying and managing enterprise software. Puppet Labs stands at the heart of the DevOps revolution by virtue of its products that streamline IT automation by simplifying software deployments and hardware provisioning. Because the confluence of development and operations is increasingly critical to cloud deployments of any stripe or flavor, Puppet’s partnership with VMware will add fuel to the DevOps movement and its associated array of IT automation vendors such as Chef and RightScale.

•Software Defined Networking (SDN) represents another other clear winner indicated by VMware’s investment in Puppet. As Puppet CEO Luke Kanies reminds us in his recent blog post, VMware bought Nicira to streamline the management of virtualized data centers. Puppet’s technology is likely to interface with technology from the Nicira acquisition as part of its strategic partnership with VMware and subsequently accelerate the deployment of software defined networking solutions throughout the enterprise.

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