Cloud testing market heats up

IBM has snapped up Green Hat, a provider of software quality and testing products for enterprise developers using the cloud, signaling that the market for cloud-based testing services is hot. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CA acquired ITKO for a similar technology in June 2011 for $330 million. IBM was also said to be bidding for this company.

Cloud-based software-testing services are on the rise, as, historically, to run simulation testing on a software program, a development team had to build an actual testing lab made up of both hardware and software, a time-consuming and expensive process. According to recent industry reports, software testing represents more than 50 percent of overall development costs, and testing teams often spend upwards of 30 percent of their time managing the complexity of the test environment.

Companies like Green Hat and ITKO, on the other hand, let users set up a virtual test environment in a matter of minutes versus weeks and for a fraction of the cost. VMware, Skytap and SOASTA also offer products for cloud-based development and testing. These solutions are interesting to developers, as the market for developing apps is changing fast in the wake of mobile and cloud computing and is extremely competitive. The faster developers can get an application up and running, the more quickly they can monetize that effort. Cloud-based software testing tools help in that regard.

Green Hat will join IBM’s Rational Software business.

What’s not clear at this point is whether Green Hat’s GH Tester tool will run on IBM’s Smart Business Development and Test Cloud, touted by IBM as a way to do software testing on the cloud. GH Tester works with TIBCO SmartSockets and Rendezvous as well as Software AG’s webMethods, IBM’s WebSphere MQ, Oracle Fusion and SOA Suite, SAP NetWeaver, Progress Software’s SonicMQ, and the Java Message Service API embedded in various software stacks. IBM is not ready to discuss integration plans for Green Hat at this time, but expect to see more from IBM on cloud-based testing services down the road.

Question of the week

IBM buys Green Hat following CA’s acquisition of ITKO. Who’s next?
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