VMWare acquires Bitnami to bolster its app-packaging tools


San Francisco-based virtualization company VMWare today revealed that it intends to acquire Y Combinator graduate Bitnami, an app packing solutions provider, for an undisclosed sum. The two companies confirmed the deal in coordinated press releases this morning.

“We realized that if we wanted to continue to grow we would have to raise money, as building an enterprise salesforce is not easy to do when you are bootstrapped,” wrote CEO Daniel Lopez and cofounder Erica Brescia in a blog post. “As part of the fundraising process, we were approached by several vendors in the space to make strategic investments or, in some cases, join forces. While this was not our original goal, as part of the conversations that we had during this process, we realized that VMware would be the ideal partner for us.”

VMWare says it will remain “committed” to maintaining the partnerships Bitnami currently has with major cloud service providers after the deal’s close. For its part, Bitnami says it will continue to develop and maintain its app catalog across all the platforms it supports and expand to additional ones in the near future.

“Upon close, we will continue to invest in Bitnami’s suite of products and projects, as well as help[ing] our customers to build and deploy applications more quickly and easily,” wrote VMWare general manager of cloud services Milin Desai and general manager of cloud-native applications Paul Fazzone in a blog post. “Further, Bitnami will be able to augment our existing efforts to deliver a curated marketplace to VMware customers that offers a rich set of applications and development environments, in addition to infrastructure software.”

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Specifically, VMWare plans to leverage Bitnami’s expertise and automated updating, packaging, and deployment tools to deliver “validated solutions” to customers in multiple clouds, formats, and marketplaces. Moreover, Bitnami hopes to simplify acquisition and commerce across clouds, extending to open source software vendors who offer paid versions of their software.

“We are committed to maintaining the deep partnerships that Bitnami currently has with major cloud service providers today after close,” wrote Fazzone and Desai, “[a]nd we plan to continue to drive rich content to their marketplaces to enable the best experience for our mutual customers. This will also be an opportunity for VMware’s existing … partners to provide Bitnami’s application content to their end customers and deliver value beyond infrastructure to help their customers with their respective digital transformation journeys.”

For the uninitiated, Bitnami provides a suite of validated app packages that enable developers to quickly build services in a range of formats in clouds, including virtual machines, containers, and Kubernetes helm charts. Fazzone and Desai noted that Bitnami’s catalog boasts “millions” of click-to-deploy applications and development stacks for major cloud and Kubernetes environments.

“Our mission at Bitnami is to make awesome software available to everyone, everywhere. There is a lot of great software out there, much of it open source, that is out of reach of many developers and system administrators because it is too complex to set up and maintain,” said Lopez and Brescia. “We cannot think of a better way to continue their contributions and career growth than as part of VMware, an industry leader.”

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