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DevOps firms must play with all – despite web of alliances

Puppet boss talks about the ties that don’t always bind

Major DevOps players are meshing together with acquisitions, alliances and technical partnerships, but are not in danger of splitting into a series of competing armed camps, the CEO of Puppet has claimed.

Puppet announced a major overhaul last week, announcing its intention to bring some of the edgier technologies into production in enterprises, and striking partnerships with Splunk and Atlassian - and losing half of its name.

Puppet’s moves follows other alliances within the DevOps/Agile world, such as Chef hooking up with Canonical and... Atlassian. Meanwhile, some vendors have been flashing the cash to take over smaller interesting tech firms, such as Docker’s hoovering up of Tutum.

However, networks of business and technical relationships have a habit, of evolving over time into something akin to a small number of at best, semi-walled gardens, and at worse, armed camps.

Kanies insisted that in his market, “I don’t think there’s a huge concern.”

“I think you’re going to some some alliances that are exclusive, but I don’t think you’re going to see a ton of them,” he said.

“One of the things that management tools have to do whether they want to or not is we have to be great at working with everybody.”

“When I go to a customer I can’t say hey look we’ve got a really great partnership with Atlassian... so you’re really going to replace your Slack infrastructure with Hipchat,” said Kanies. “I have to say yes to everything, I have to say yes to everyone.”

On the relationship with Hipchat, Kanies said ChatOps was “a small movement today, and I’m very interested to see where it is in three years.”

He said it offered the potential of something like a group command line: “There’s a ton of power there and a ton of potential.”

However, given his position that Puppet has to be “promiscuous in our relationships because we’re required to be to satisfy our customers” it seems reasonable that forging a similar relationship with Slack is somewhere near the top of Puppet’s to-do list. ®

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