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IBM to Acquire Green Hat

Offers Part of a Lifecycle Virtualization Solution

IBM's intended acquisition of Green Hat (announced 4 January 2012) shows commitment to the importance of the lifecycle virtualization category by IBM. As application complexity continues to expand lifecycle virtualization technology is absolutely critical to delivering a faster time-to-market and reducing both capital and operational expenditures.

Lifecycle virtualization is defined as the use of technologies such as virtual lab management, service virtualization, defect virtualization, device virtualization, virtualized cloud platforms, etc., to enhance the application or product lifecycle through reducing defects, lowering costs, speeding time-to-market, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Lifecycle virtualization is as evolutionary for testing as the advent of the IDE (integrated development environment) was for the development organization.

IBM has been absent in crafting a lifecycle virtualization solution within its application lifecycle management (ALM) offerings. While this acquisition is an important step for IBM, it offers only one component of lifecycle virtualization - service virtualization - to its customers.

To be viable in the lifecycle virtualization market, IBM must:

  1. Take on the role of educating the market about the importance of lifecycle virtualization
  2. Deliver state of the art lifecycle virtualization  solutions that development and test teams can use and be productive with - the Green Hat acquisition is a start, there must be more substance to what IBM can offer as part of a comprehensive lifecycle virtualization solution

To date, the lifecycle virtualization market has been void of major ALM vendors to show the value virtualization can bring to the application lifecycle. Most recently, CA Technologies (not a company in the ALM market) with its acquisition of ITKO has been the only significantly sized vendor to publicly demonstrate the value of lifecycle virtualization. CA proudly showed off its ITKO acquisition at the recent CA World and consistently demonstrated how lifecycle virtualization will make a difference in dealing with today's complex applications and the need for a competitive time-to-market.

Development and testing teams are looking for and need complete lifecycle virtualization solutions to complement existing ALM solutions to speed time-to-market, lower capital and operational expenditures and deliver on a total value of ownership. A lifecycle virtualization solution enables organizations to be more strategic with the most important asset in the economy of innovation - software.

Other significant vendors in the lifecycle virtualization category include:

  • CA Technologies with a comprehensive lifecycle virtualization offering that encompasses labs, defect virtualization, and service virtualization through its recent acquisition of ITKO and the CA 3Tera AppLogic solution
  • Citrix with its lab and virtualized cloud platform solutions offered through Citrix XenClient, Citrix XenServer, Citrix CloudStack, and Citrix Cloud Portal
  • Electric Cloud with virtualized cloud platforms through Electric Cloud ElectricCommander
  • HP with service virtualization through its introduction of Service Virtualization to the market in July 2011
  • Microsoft with its virtual lab and defect virtualization (IntelliTrace) solutions as part of Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN
  • Parasoft with service virtualization and defect virtualization through Parasoft Virtualize
  • Replay Solutions with defect virtualization through ReplayDIRECTOR
  • Skytap with labs and virtualized cloud platforms through Skytap Cloud
  • VMware with its virtualized cloud platform solutions through VMware vCloud Director
  • Wind River with its lab and device virtualization solutions through Wind River Test Management (Lab Manager) and Simics

voke is predicting that lifecycle virtualization will be the hub of the modern application lifecycle. Lifecycle virtualization will help break down barriers between operations, development, and testing while aiding organizations in achieving a faster time-to-market while significantly reducing capital expenditures and increasing quality. For a complete vendor neutral analysis of the lifecycle virtualization category, see voke's Category Snapshot: Lifecycle Virtualization - November 2011at www.vokeinc.com.

More Stories By Theresa Lanowitz

Theresa Lanowitz, Founder of voke, inc. is recognized worldwide as a strategic thinker and market influencer in application lifecycle, virtualization and convergence markets. With over 20 years of experience, Theresa has been associated with some of the most breakthrough technology and products of their time. From 1999 through 2006, Theresa was a research analyst with Gartner. During her tenure with Gartner, Theresa pioneered the application quality ecosystem, championed the application security space, and consistently identified new and emerging companies to watch. As the lead industry analyst for billion dollar plus enterprise software companies such as Mercury, Compuware, and a host of others, Theresa developed marketing and launch strategies, corporate and product messaging, and identified partnering and acquisition opportunities.

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