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IBM-Green Hat Deal Targets Cloud-Based Software Testing

IBM kicked off its first acquisition of the new year on Wednesday saying it has agreed to buy Green Hat, a provider of tools that lets application developers use cloud resources to test their software.

Big Blue did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Green Hat will be folded into IBM's Rational Software business where it will be offered in conjunction with the company's application lifecycle management (ALM) portfolio.

By acquiring Green Hat, IBM said it is looking for a way to provide lower-cost ways of letting developers test and ensure the quality of their software without cutting corners. Properly testing software today requires an investment in simulation labs that can cost anywhere from $5 million to $30 million, said Charles Chu, IBM Rational's director of product management and strategy.

"That's not a trivial number no matter what size company you are," Chu said. "By providing this virtualized environment, the agile developer is able to come much closer to the vision of realizing continuous integration and continuous testing."

While IBM emphasized that Green Hat's GH Tester, GH performance and Green Hat Virtual Integration Environment (GH VIE) tools are aimed at using cloud resources, Chu acknowledged that developers must use private clouds today. "We don't currently have any announced plans for a public cloud offering," Chu said. However IBM has a cloud service in beta that allows developers to provision a test environment.

GH VIE allows for cloud testing in a virtual environment, Chu said. "Once the configuration is done, that environment is available and provisioned in a matter of minutes for a developer to run tests against," he said.

Founded in 1996, Green Hat's tools support a variety of software environments, including those from IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Software AG, Sonic MQ and Tibco, as well as supporting Web services and Java protocols.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on January 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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