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IBM Acquires Green Hat

IBM has acquired Green Hat, a provider of automated softwaretestingand environment virtualization. Financial terms of the acquisition werenot disclosed.

Green Hat enables developers to use cloud computingtechnologies to setup virtual test environments to simulate a variety of IT infrastructurecomponents for the purpose of testing software throughout thedevelopment cycle.

IBM plans to integrate Green Hat into its Rational Softwarebusiness, which offers the IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative LifecycleManagement. IBM will also offer Green Hat software testing solutionsthrough IBM Global Business Services' Application Management Services(ABM).

According to a report on The Economic Impacts of InadequateInfrastructure for Software Testing from the National Institute ofStandards and Technology, "the process of identifying and correctingdefects during the software development process represents [more than] half ofdevelopment costs," and developers spend approximately 30 percent oftheir time in the testing phase. Products such as Green Hat areintended to reduce the time and costs associated with setting up testenvironments.

"IBM's acquisition of Green Hat shows commitment to theimportance of the lifecycle virtualization category by IBM," said Theresa Lanowitz,lead analyst at voke. "As application complexity continues toexpand, lifecycle virtualization technology is absolutely critical todelivering a faster time-to-market and reducing both capital andoperational expenditures."

"IBM has been absent in crafting a lifecycle virtualizationsolution within its application lifecycle management (ALM) offerings,"saidLanowitz. "While this acquisition is an important step for IBM, itoffers one component of lifecycle virtualization – servicevirtualization – to its customers." According to Lanowitz, IBM needs to"educate the market about the importance of lifecycle virtualization"and deliver a comprehensive, state-of-the-art lifecycle virtualizationsolution. Other lifecycle virtualization technologies include virtuallab management, defect virtualization, device virtualization, andvirtualized cloud plaforms.

Green Hat was founded in 1996 and is jointly headquartered inLondon, England and Wilmington, Delaware. It operates worldwide with a ForbesGlobal 2000 customer base across the financial services,telecommunications, health care, transportation, and energy industries.

Other vendors of lifecycle virtualization technology includeCA Technologies, HP, Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Parasoft, Electric Cloud,Replay Solutions, and Skytap. Of those, CA Technologies is the only onethat provides a comprehensive lifecycle virtualization offeringencompassing virtual lab management, defect virtualization, and servicevirtualization.

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