Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat
Red Hat
By Barb Darrow
October 16, 2015

Red Hat is buying Ansible, a startup backing a hot set of software tools that developers and IT folks use to build and deploy applications efficiently.

As part of the deal, about 50 Ansible employees will join Red Hat, which offers the Linux operating system to enterprise customers as well as a slate of developer tools including JBoss, which is used to develop and integrate business applications. The news is not all that surprising given that Ansible was founded by Red Hat (RHT) veterans Said Ziouani and Michael DeHaan.

Ansible’s goal is to provide commercial support and handholding to business customers who want to use Ansibleworks, an open-source tool that competes with Opscode Chef and Puppet Labs’ Puppet and SaltStack. In the open-source world, the software itself is free of charge, but companies often pay vendors for commercial support and maintenance. Business customers like to be able to show their partners and compliance officers that they are using “supported” software, a tendency which has been key to Red Hat’s success in the Linux realm.

“Devops” tools like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible aim to streamline the development and deployment of applications by ensuring that programmers or developers, who write the software code, and the operations or IT people, who must deploy the resulting code, work in concert instead of at cross-purposes as has been the case in the past.

Terms were not disclosed although VentureBeat, which broke the news Thursday night, reported it to be worth $100 million.

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