IBM snaps up DevOps services specialist BoxBoat

BoxBoat brings security focus to cloud-native development teams

IBM logo displayed on a piece of hardware

IBM is acquiring DevOps consulting company BoxBoat Technologies as part of an ongoing effort to bolster its cloud software capabilities.

BoxBoat was founded in 2016 to help create strategies for container-based software development. It advises companies on how to build software development pipelines for cloud-native applications and on how to convert existing applications for container-based environments, and offers a range of training services to support this.

This is the latest acquisition in IBM's push to establish dominance in the cloud software development space, which has seen it invest heavily in Kubernetes-based container infrastructure, on which many modern cloud applications depend.

IBM has said it will fold BoxBoat into its Global Business Services unit to bolster its hybrid cloud portfolio, focusing on container strategy and services. The deal's value has not been disclosed.

One of BoxBoat's focal areas is increasing the security of DevOps processes and has spent time recently addressing software supply chain security following the SolarWinds attack. Security experts are increasingly worried about adversaries compromising software development processes and inserting malicious code into software before it is deployed.

BoxBoat has been working closely with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) on its Secure Production Identity Framework for Everyone (SPIFFE) project. This is an open-source initiative that assigns secure identity certificates to cloud workloads, making it easier for microservices to authenticate with each other securely in the cloud.

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The company also works with another Linux Foundation initiative called in-toto, to help secure DevOps pipelines from intruders who might try to compromise software in development.

BoxBoat has parlayed some of this work on third-party software security into a contract with the US Department of Defense under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative to help secure software supply chains.

This is the latest acquisition in a series for IBM, which acquired Red Hat in 2019 for $34bn. More recently, it acquired cloud implementation services company Nordcloud in a December deal that closed in Q1 2021. It also bought cloud managed services provider Taos a month later.

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