Red Hat to acquire Codenvy as part of its growing container strategy

Red Hat, which has made its name as the enterprise Linux company, has been making clear in recent years that it sees the cloud and containerization as a significant part of its future. Today, it announced its intent to acquire San Francisco startup Codenvy to continue building on that strategy and give developers access to a cloud-based integrated development environment.

The company did not reveal the purchase price.

Codenvy is the company built on top of the open source project, Eclipse Che, which fits with Red Hat’s overall strategy to build commercial tools on top of open source projects. It offers a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDEs) for individual developers, teams or enterprises. IDEs are essentially workspaces for coding, building and testing apps.

In a company blog post announcing the acquisition, Harry Mower, senior director of developer programs at Red Hat made clear his company sees Codenvy as much more than simply a cloud IDE. “At the heart of Codenvy’s technology is a workspace management system that allows developers to get up and running instantly without the need to set up a local development environment,” Mower wrote.

Integral to that vision are containers, the ability to launch applications as discrete pieces of code or containers instead of launching a single monolithic application. Developers are using tools like Docker and Kubernetes to build these containerized environments.

Codenvy CEO Tyler Jewell sees the acquisition as a way to extend his company’s vision by combining resources with a much larger organization and building a much broader container vision than his company could have done alone. “The rapid adoption of containers makes orchestration standards the industry’s next step. We held the view that Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift are leading the way in this space. So when Red Hat shared their container vision, our decision to join them became a “no-brainer,” Jewell wrote in a blog post.

Red Hat has actually been telegraphing that a move like this could be coming for some time. For starters, Red Hat, Codenvy and Microsoft joined forces last year to in Red Hat’s words, “provide a common way to integrate programming languages across code editors and IDEs.” Red Hat went on to join the Eclipse Che community last year and began contributing code. A few weeks ago, the company announced, a set of cloud-based developers tools based in part on — wait for it — Eclipse Che.

TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois described thusly: “What Red Hat has done here, though, is tie together a number of existing open source projects like fabric8, Jenkins, Eclipse Che and, of course, OpenShift into a free service that provides developers with a similar experience, but with a strong focus on container-based applications.”

Given these previous moves, the next logical step would seem to be acquiring the company built on top of Eclipse Che. When the deal closes, Codenvy’s employees will be joining the team.