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Straight Talk Technology

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The news that CollabNet VersionOne (CN) and XebiaLabs are to merge shows the continued rationalization taking place in the DevOps space. The first wave of DevOps-related acquisitions occurred in the early days of DevOps when IT infrastructure incumbents swooped down on the fresh startups, defining the new wave of deploying software, offering ease of use and enterprise management features: BMC acquired StreamStep, CA acquired Nolio, and IBM acquired UrbanCode. Recent times have seen a second wave of acquisitions: CloudBees acquired Electric Cloud and Codeship, JFrog acquired Shippable, and CA acquired Automic and then CA was in turn acquired by Broadcom. A remaining pureplay DevOps vendor is Clarive, while Red Hat with Ansible and IBM with UrbanCode continue to build out their solutions with new features, such as introducing AI and value stream management.

Against this background, a new category of DevOps tool is emerging that is native to Kubernetes. In case you haven't heard, Kubernetes has won the container management war, and this has led to a blooming ecosystem that works around this de facto standard. The Continuous Delivery (CD) Foundation is home to Kubernetes-native CD open source projects Jenkins X and Tekton, and there is a lot of interest from DevOps vendors in Tekton, whereas I've heard Jenkins X is perceived as being too close to CloudBees. Still, it is early days and perceptions may change.

As cloud-native computing continues its rapid adoption across enterprises, the DevOps tools market will reshape itself. The high-end, premium DevOps tools work with the open source continuous integration and CD automation servers like Jenkins (the leader), but other options exist, such as JetBrains' TeamCity and Atlassian's Bamboo. The competition is in the DevOps management tools that add a lot of features that enterprises seek, such as: ease of use, topology discovery, workflow engine, security, and CD pipeline management at scale.

Part of the DevOps landscape is provisioning and configuration management; ground that XebiaLabs' deployment automation module XL Deploy competes over with Chef and Puppet. Puppet has been open source from the start, and Chef went fully open source in 2019. XebiaLabs is merging with CN to form a unified platform. As an integrated solution for application lifecycle management, agile project management and DevOps, it is nicely positioned. The parties have confirmed that the company will rebrand, and the challenge ahead will be to have the new entity ready for cloud-native computing; and that means Kubernetes native, so integration with Jenkins X or Tekton are possible options.

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