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Publicly traded enterprise hardware company Brocade is announcing today that it has acquired StackStorm, a startup that built software for automating data center operations. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

StackStorm launched out of stealth mode in May 2014 and announced the release of version 1.0 of its open-source software in September 2015. The team eventually came to adopt the moniker “IFTTT for ops,” implying that it could take care of certain tasks based on rules that operations people put in place, just like the IFTTT service that integrates many consumer web applications.

“It’s a bittersweet thing to sell right now, because we are seeing the community pick up, which would translate to customers over time,” StackStorm cofounder and CEO Evan Powell told VentureBeat in an interview. The fundraising environment “played a role,” Powell said, but the outcome also had to do with the personal motivations of the founders.

Brocade will keep supporting the StackStorm community. “Using StackStorm technology, Brocade customers will be able to bring devops methods to networking as well as experience many of the benefits of scale­-out IT automation enjoyed by the cloud titans,” Brocade executive P.G. Menon wrote in a blog post.

Competitors include Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Operations Orchestration software, and Cisco, which competes with Brocade in the data center switching hardware market, has a similar tool. And in the area of security automation, the startup had competition from Elastica, among others, Powell said. Cisco Devops software such as Puppet, Chef, and Ansible also offer IT automation capability; Red Hat recently bought Ansible.

StackStorm started in 2013 and was based in Palo Alto, with 14 employees. XSeed Capital invested in the startup.

Several companies used the StackStorm open-source software, including MasterCard, Netflix, SendGrid, and Target, but StackStorm had fewer than 10 paying customers for its enterprise tier, Powell said.

A StackStorm blog post on the news is here.


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