BMC expands DevOps portfolio with release automation buy

BMC has made another DevOps play with the acquisition of VaraLogix, a closed-source provider of application release automation software.

Users of Puppet’s server automation tool can exhale now. BMC Software has acquired VaraLogix, a provider of application release automation software and not Puppet Labs, as this publication speculated yesterday.

VaraLogix Q "provides repeatable web application deployment, managing all application components as they move through the release cycle" with both .Net and Java applications, according to the company’s web site.

Austin-based VaraLogix represents BMC's third foray in to the application release automation (ARA) space – starting with Phurnace Software in 2010, then StreamStep in 2011. This acquisition "fills a functional gap in our capabilities," said Jody Hunt, BMC lead solution manager for DevOps. Namely, application- or content-aware process coordination.

"Before," when deploying an application, "you could use [BMC] BladeLogic or Puppet or Chef or any other OS automation tools, but that still required a lot of knowledge by the user of the application," said John Balena, BMC general manager for the DevOps line of business.

VaraLogix Q, on the other hand, uses existing automation tools and adds a graphical tool to visually build and deploy the applications. A series of "Action Packs" provide out-of-the-box scripts for a variety of common IT packages including Apache Tomcat, F5 load balancers, IBM WebSphere, Microsoft SharePoint and others, and developers can extend the framework to support their own internal apps.

In a first release integrated in to BMC Release Lifecycle Management scheduled for this quarter, VaraLogix Q will support BladeLogic and Puppet as the underlying automation tool, with support for other automation tools like Opscode Chef to come down the road, depending on market demand, Hunt said.

Indeed, BMC has no plans to try and force developers to use a different automation platform than what they already have, he added.

"In the enterprise, developers are the free spirits, and if you try to impose something on them, there's huge resistance," he said.

BMC declined to say how much it paid for VaraLogix or how many customers the company has.

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