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SpringSource, Hyperic Merge for App Management

SpringSource, a player in open source Java frameworks, is moving to add Java application management to its offerings -- today acquiring open source systems management vendor Hyperic.

Through the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, Hyperic CEO Javier Soltero will now become the CTO of management products at SpringSource.

As result of the move, Hyperic's system management technologies will be integrated into SpringSource's Java portfolio, providing what will be a full stack that can be used for development, deployment and management of Java applications.

"By merging, we see an opportunity to accelerate the software lifecycle across both the development part of the lifecycle and into operations," Peter Cooper-Ellis, senior vice president of engineering and product management at SpringSource, told InternetNews.com.

SpringSource to date has been focused on developer tools and Java application servers, like its recently released tc Server, which is a commercial offshoot of the Apache Tomcat server.

But Cooper-Ellis said tc Server customers had complained about problems that arose from the different ways that developers and operation people work. As a result, the overall lifecycle process for software deployment isn't as efficient as it should be, he said.

With Hyperic, which is a management and monitoring tool in place, the goal is to help SpringSource eliminate that problem.

"We believe that if we can create a deployment blueprint that travels with an application across the lifecycle, we can facilitate communications in both directions from development to operations," Cooper-Ellis

For Paul Melmon, senior vice president of engineering at Hyperic, the integration with SpringSource also makes good sense.

"If you look across our customer base, and we have 500-plus customers, well over half rely on Java as a key component of their Web infrastructure that they are monitoring," Melmon told InternetNews.com. "So there is very good synergy there and essentially opportunities to upsell on both sides of this. The fact that we'll have a tighter management story around support of Spring app server might be a compelling reason for people to look at it."


Hyperic competes in the open source systems management space against fellow startups Zenoss and Groundwork, and also faces competition from home-grown management solutions.

Being part of SpringSource will help Hyperic differentiate itself, according to Melmon. He argued that since Hyperic now works with the development runtime and the management, SpringSource's management solutions will be able to outpace competitors by offering features that leverage the combined abilities.

Still, Hyperic's rivals have also been busy. Groundwork said recently that its strategy of converting users of free solutions to commercial offerings has paying off.

While the threats from competitors is one thing, the combined SpringSource and Hyperic may also have to sort out a complex Web of interoperability: Both are compatible with each other's competitors. For instance, Hyperic is able to manage competitive Java framework solutions and works with Red Hat's JBoss division on operations management solutions.

For the time being, however, Cooper-Ellis doesn't see this as being a problem.

"There is a lot of cooperate and compete in the open source and Java markets, and we're pretty comfortable with cooperating with people that we could also compete with at the same time," Cooper-Ellis said. "We're happy to support customer using Hyperic to monitor potentially competitive products."

Product roadmap

At this early stage, it's not yet clear what new product will emerge as a result of the combined company. They do have a plan they are working on, however -- but Cooper-Ellis explained that it will be about three months before the joint roadmap will be announced publicly.

Still, he did offer some hints on where Hyperic and SpringSource will concentrate.

"I see the opportunity to integrate across the SpringSource stack from the Spring Framework to tc Server," he said. "We see Hyperic as a key building block here where Hyperic communicates with the layer underneath the middleware."