Sunday, June 23, 2024

IBM acquires HashiCorp for $6.4 billion

Software DevelopmentIBM acquires HashiCorp for $6.4 billion

IBM has unveiled its intention to acquire HashiCorp in a huge $6.4 billion acquisition that is expected to close later this year. 

IBM says that the goal with this acquisition is to create “a comprehensive end-to-end hybrid cloud platform.”

HashiCorp’s portfolio includes a number of popular tools, including Terraform for infrastructure as code provisioning, Vault for secrets management, Consul for service-based networking, and more.

According to a statement from HashiCorp, it will continue to operate under the HashiCorp name as a division within IBM Software. Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp, said that by joining IBM, it will be able to offer its products to a much wider audience. 

“While we are more than a decade into HashiCorp, we believe we are still in the early stages of cloud adoption. With IBM, we have the opportunity to help more customers get there faster, to accelerate our product innovation, and to continue to grow our practitioner community,” Dadgar wrote. 

Dave McJannet, CEO of HashiCorp, added: “IBM’s leadership in hybrid cloud along with its rich history of innovation, make it the ideal home for HashiCorp as we enter the next phase of our growth journey. I’m proud of the work we’ve done as a standalone company, I am excited to be able to help our customers further, and I look forward to the future of HashiCorp as part of IBM.”

Kris Beevers, co-founder and CEO of NetBox Labs, believes that with this acquisition IBM is trying to consolidate ownership of two of the most popular open source IT automation tools: Red Hat Ansible (acquired in 2019) and now HashiCorp Terraform. 

“In network management and automation specifically, Ansible and Terraform dominate the ecosystem and are widely deployed by practitioners,” said Beevers. “This move will make IBM an open source IT automation powerhouse. I expect the consolidation of these tools under the IBM umbrella might result in more whitespace for new open source automation tools over time, but in the near term it will simplify the ecosystem and accelerate vendor and open source integrations with Ansible and Terraform, which will simplify and accelerate enterprise IT and network automation initiatives.”

Though widely used, Terraform hasn’t had a perfect year, after last August when HashiCorp announced that Terraform would switch from the Mozilla Public License 2.0 to the Business Source Licenses for its future releases. In response, the Terraform community created an open fork of Terraform, called OpenTofu.

When the change was first announced, the OpenTofu community wrote the OpenTofu Manifesto, stating ”In our opinion, this change threatens the entire community and ecosystem that’s built up around Terraform over the last 9 years.”

Then earlier this month OpenTofu received a cease and desist from HashiCorp because of copyright claims, and OpenTofu has denied those claims. The cease and desist claimed that OpenTofu copied code that was under the BSL, however OpenTofu denied this, offering the explanation that both HashiCorp and OpenTofu copied the code from the MPL v2.0 version. 

“HashiCorp has made claims of copyright infringement in a cease & desist letter. These claims are completely unsubstantiated. The code in question can be clearly shown to have been copied from older code under the MPL-2.0 license. HashiCorp seems to have copied the same code itself when they implemented their version of this feature,” OpenTofu wrote in a response

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