VMware buys SaltStack for security, configuration management

VMware strategies to obtain configuration administration and stability automation seller SaltStack in a transfer that boosts its vRealize suite and bolsters open up supply Salt improvement.

Although VMware’s vRealize Automation cloud infrastructure administration application now integrates with infrastructure-as-code resources these kinds of as Puppet, Crimson Hat Ansible and HashiCorp Terraform, firm officers cited SaltStack’s configuration administration abilities as crucial motivations for the acquisition, which is expected to shut in October for an undisclosed sum.

“SaltStack will support us … to lengthen our automation abilities further than infrastructure to the complete application stack,” wrote Ajay Singh, senior vice president and basic supervisor of VMware’s cloud administration business unit, in a firm web site post. “This will consist of the application and packages within virtual devices and containers.”

SaltStack stability goods will also be integrated into the vRealize suite, Singh wrote. These consist of SaltStack Secure, which automates IT stability vulnerability discovery and remediation, and SaltStack Comply, a compliance plan-as-code device that competes with Chef InSpec, HashiCorp Sentinel and Pulumi CrossGuard.

Although not as widely employed as Ansible and Terraform, SaltStack has drawn consideration in the very last year with the launch of SaltStack Secure and a new modular merchandise improvement system meant to catch it up with cloud-indigenous technological innovation traits.

Tom Petrocelli, Amalgam InsightsTom Petrocelli

Continue to, VMware may possibly have experienced couple of solutions for an acquisition of this form. Ansible now belongs to IBM/Crimson Hat, HashiCorp Terraform seems destined for an IPO soon after a $one hundred seventy five million spherical of funding in April, and Puppet may possibly not be trying to find a customer, explained Tom Petrocelli, an analyst at Amalgam Insights.

In the meantime, newer IT automation organizations these kinds of as Pulumi nonetheless attraction more to midmarket buyers rather than VMware’s huge organization shopper base, in accordance to Petrocelli.

“This is a fantastic way to fill out VMware’s portfolio,” Petrocelli explained. “They have the platforms [in Tanzu and Cloud Foundation], they have the deployment toolchain [with Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Bitnami] — now they will need to build up infrastructure automation.”

Organizations that initially focused on configuration administration have been forced to realign their enterprises as Kubernetes usurped much of their products’ value more than the very last four years. But the broader VMware Tanzu platform, particularly, will nonetheless involve SaltStack’s configuration administration attributes for elements outside the house of Kubernetes, Petrocelli explained.

“You nonetheless will need anything that will configure the broader environments that Kubernetes lives in, and points Kubernetes does not trouble with, like large information queues,” he explained.

There is also value in getting numerous IT automation resources that functionality at numerous levels of infrastructure crafted into a consistent merchandise set these kinds of as vRealize, Petrocelli additional.

“These sophisticated toolchains can slide down if they’re not effectively coordinated,” he explained.

Salt customers request steadiness with VMware

SaltStack’s stability and configuration administration resources are crafted on an occasion bus, which responds in near genuine time to infrastructure and configuration variations, these kinds of as the existence of newly connected or disconnected resources and authentication requests. The occasion bus responds to these variations as they arise, both with automated features centered on consumer plan or by invoking a 3rd-occasion device.

Nicholas Hughes, EITR TechnologiesNicholas Hughes

SaltStack’s competition have additional comparable dynamic update abilities with the latest updates and goods these kinds of as Chef Infra and Puppet Duties. But Salt embedded the occasion bus into its architecture from the commencing, explained Nicholas Hughes, a Salt open up supply contributor.

“Nobody’s performed an occasion-centered automation and orchestration framework as effectively as Salt,” explained Hughes, who is also founder and CEO of IT automation consulting business EITR Systems in Sykesville, Md., a accredited reseller of SaltStack’s commercial merchandise. “Which is what helps make SecOps the killer application for SaltStack in basic — there are a lot of goods out there that give stability visibility, but not the similar automated remediation and collaboration for stability and ops [groups].”

VMware execs presented assurances that the firm will carry on to assistance the Salt open up supply group post-acquisition but were mum on whether the SaltStack Enterprise commercial merchandise will endure. Both way, longtime SaltStack customers say they can slide again on the open up supply variation and believe that the acquisition will insert required R&D resources to Salt improvement.

“A lot of folks are fearful of little, open up supply-centered unbiased organizations,” explained James Watson, a method functions engineer at Good Nexidia, an Atlanta-centered application firm that helps make interaction analytics resources for corporate contact facilities.

James Watson, NexidiaJames Watson

Nexidia mainly makes use of SaltStack Enterprise for bare-metal Windows infrastructure, but a minority of its environment — Watson believed about twenty% — is virtualized with VMware vSphere, and the VMware acquisition will pretty much surely broaden Nexidia’s use of the device, he explained.

The acquisition may possibly also be crucial to the sustainability of SaltStack as a seller as effectively as the Salt open up supply group, Watson additional.

“This year, with the uncertainty of COVID-19, finding underneath the funding umbrella of the big player in the virtualization sector is definitely fantastic news,” he explained.

 Hughes explained he hadn’t heard SaltStack was trying to find a customer, but he agreed that Salt’s merchandise top quality and steadiness will probably benefit from VMware’s financial investment.

“Salt is perhaps effectively-suited to so quite a few points,” he explained. “If VMware dedicates its resources to the open up supply group, that will be a get for my customers.”