IBM Acquisition of Green Hat Colors APM Market

February 1, 2012 No Comments

By David A. Kelly and Heather Ashton, Upside Research

virtual cloud IBM Acquisition of Green Hat Colors APM Market In previous articles, we’ve discussed the increasing importance of application performance management. With the rise of virtual and private cloud computing environments, response time becomes critical, and all users of applications have heightened expectations for performance levels. Having looked at the application performance management (APM) market from the perspective of tools that help identify performance issues in production applications, we’d now like to turn our attention to applying APM tenants to pre-production applications, specifically in the software testing aspect of application development.

Industry experts place the cost of software testing at more than half of overall application development costs. Unfortunately, today’s distributed computing environment still requires traditional testing, and in many cases developers are tasked with setting up physical testing labs that include hardware and software. This hampers the ability of agile developers to respond quickly to the newest mobile technology platforms (tablets and devices) because of the rigorous testing required to ensure an application works across platforms. Given this substantial expense, development organizations are in search of ways to reduce the burden of software testing.

Enter the cloud. A new wave of software testing tools enable developers to simulate their applications running on the backend cloud. Both traditional vendors like Computer Associates and Hewlett Packard as well as start-ups including Soasta and Green Hat have joined the fray with their versions of virtual cloud testing. Each of these vendors offers a different flavor of cloud-based testing to reduce the costs and time associated with traditional physical hardware/software test labs.

In early 2012, IBM acquired Green Hat to round out its own cloud-based testing offering. The acquisition, which completed January 11, 2012, gives further validation to the growing market of virtual cloud testing. Green Hat’s solution creates a virtual testing environment for developers that can simulate a range of IT infrastructure elements. It becomes a continuous test environment and enables developers to test software earlier and more often throughout the typical software development lifecycle.

As it relates to APM, we believe that tools like those from Green Hat or Soasta will help drive application performance management from the opposite end of the spectrum, by addressing pre-production issues that will hopefully facilitate more effective finished software applications. With a virtual testing environment that can mimic the cloud environment and eliminate the need for hardware during testing, the results should drive improved application quality and have a positive impact on developers’ efforts to deliver applications that meet today’s user requirements.

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