Red Hat dives further into DevOps with Ansible buy

The startup offers both free and commercial versions of its IT automation software

Red Hat will acquire IT automation software provider Ansible in a bid to bolster the tools it can offer enterprises for managing hybrid cloud environments through DevOps and other initiatives.

The deal is expected to close this month. Terms were not disclosed, but at least one report suggests a purchase price above $100 million.

Red Hat declined to provide further details.

Ansible offers modular enterprise-grade software for automating apps, systems and cloud resources. The North Carolina company's open-source software is one of the most popular open-source automation projects on GitHub, with nearly 1,200 contributors. It won an InfoWorld Bossie Award this year for best open-source data-center and cloud software.

Ansible also provides a commercial product, Ansible Tower, that adds extra control and security capabilities aimed at helping DevOps teams manage complex multi-tier deployments.

Once the acquisition is complete, Ansible will fill out Red Hat's portfolio of IT management products, said Alessandro Perilli, general manager of Red Hat's cloud management strategy, in a blog post announcing the news.

While Red Hat CloudForms will continue to offer overall orchestration and policy enforcement, Ansible will automate the provisioning and configuration of infrastructure resources and applications within each architectural tier, Perilli wrote. Red Hat Satellite, meanwhile, will continue to enable the provisioning and configuration of Red Hat systems within each tier, including security patches and software updates.

"Red Hat customers will be able to adopt any of the three as standalone products, but we’ll work hard to tighten the integration between the three," he wrote.

With the newly fleshed out portfolio, Red Hat will be able to help its customers deploy and manage applications across private and public clouds, speed service delivery through DevOps initiatives, ease OpenStack installations and upgrades and accelerate container adoption, the company said.

DevOps is a method for rapid enterprise software development in which development and IT operations teams work closely together, often tapping tools designed for collaboration, automation and flexibility.

The market for DevOps tools will reach $2.3 billion this year, according to Gartner, up 21.1 percent from $1.9 billion in 2014.

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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