UPDATED 13:32 EDT / JULY 29 2015


HP buys Stackato, the PaaS powering its hybrid cloud, from long-time partner

The latest acquisition in Hewlett-Packard Co.’s renewed shopping spree should come as little surprise to customers. The technology giant has bought Stackato, a platform-as-a-service toolkit developed by a Canadian partner called ActiveState Software Inc. that has been shipping with its public cloud for the last three years.

There reason why HP chose the technology over the numerous better-known alternatives out there is severalfold, but the main consideration was that it’s based on Cloud Foundry. The free middleware stack is not only arguably the most single advanced of its kind in the open-source ecosystem but, by virtue of its flexible licensing, a lot more convenient to implement as well.

That’s owed to the fact that the platform can run not only in the public cloud but behind the firewall as well, a key requirement for HP’s plans, which rely on integration with on-premise infrastructure to differentiate against the competition. That is made all the better by Cloud Foundry’s built-in support for OpenStack, the foundation of the company’s infrastructure-as-a-service offerings.

Stackato expands upon the core capabilities of the project with value-added functionality that provided HP with a convenient alternative to building that feature set from scratch at the expense of valuable resources, and, even more importantly, time that would have allowed its rivals to get even further ahead. The focus has since shifted to trying to outpace those rivals, which the acquisition reflects.

As strong of a partnership as HP and ActiveState may have had, the priorities of a large company with a broad value proposition spanning from infrastructure all the way up to managed service naturally diverge from those of a small firm trying to drive the adoption of its point solution. Buying Stackato and the team  behind the software will enable the technology stalwart to direct the development roadmap according to its own wishes going forward.

The acquisition also has the added benefit of eliminating the chance, however slim, that a competitor might snatch the technology from under HP’s nose. As for ActiveState, the outfit will now be able to focus all of its efforts on its Komodo development platform and various language distributions, which are quite popular in their own right.

Photo via ActiveState

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