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Cloud Testing Boost For Rational As IBM Buys Green Hat

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

IBM Rational has announced a move to acquire Green Hat, a maker of cloud-based software testing products

IBM has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Green Hat, a maker of software quality and testing products for the cloud and other environments.

IBM’s pending acquisition of Green Hat will give IBM additional capabilities to empower customers with cloud-based software testing. The company already offers development and test cloud products for its customers and this move bolsters its position. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is expected to close in the first half of 2012 and Green Hat will become part of IBM Rational.

Strategic move

“We expect this asset will prove strategic to IBM in helping customers reduce software testing costs which can sometimes exceed 50 percent of overall software development expenses,” said Brian Marshall, IT hardware and data networking analyst at International Strategy & Investment Group.

“This acquisition extends IBM’s leadership in driving business agility and software quality by changing the way enterprises can manage software development cost, test cycle time and risk,” said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational, in a statement. “Together, we offer the most complete solution available today for agile software development and testing, with flexible options such as the cloud. Green Hat’s application virtualisation capabilities will help our customers accelerate their delivery of business critical software.”

Of the acquisition, Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT and close IBM watcher, said, “This should be good news for enterprise customers with interests or investments in application development – which is to say most if not all of them. In addition, I expect Green Hat will help IBM enhance its own considerable development efforts.”

Founded in 1996, Green Hat is jointly headquartered in London in the UK and Wilmington, Delaware, in the US. Green Hat helps customers improve the quality of software applications by enabling developers to employ cloud computing technologies to conduct testing on a software application prior to its delivery.

To run simulation testing on a software program, a development team must construct an actual testing lab made up of both hardware and software. This is time consuming, labour intensive and costly. By using Green Hat’s products, a virtual test environment can be set up in a matter of minutes versus weeks, and for a fraction of the cost.