VMware has unveiled plans to acquire specialist start-up Bitfusion to enhance modern application offerings at enterprise level.
Founded in 2015, the California-based business provides an elastic artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure platform, specialising in machine learning, big data and Docker containers.
The move is also designed to complement the acquisitions of Heptio, and more recently, Bitnami, as the virtualisation vendor targets customers building and deploying modern apps in the cloud.
“Over the past year, we have put an emphasis on helping our customers with their modern application development needs,” wrote Alex Wang, vice president of strategy at VMware.
“In our conversations with customers about their modern app development needs, they have repeatedly shared with us their interests in further leveraging AI technologies to speed the execution of AI-enabled apps in their virtual environments.”
Branding Bitfusion a “pioneer” in virtualisation of hardware accelerated devices, Wang said the start-up has a “strong focus” on GPU (graphics processor unit) technology.
“I’m thrilled about the expected impact Bitfusion will have on helping our customers get the most out of the use of hardware acceleration technologies such as GPUs which power AI-based apps,” Wang added. “We view Bitfusion as offering for hardware acceleration what VMware first offered to the compute landscape several years back.
“Upon the close of this acquisition, VMware will integrate Bitfusion into its vSphere platform - helping customers to efficiently share GPU resources powering their AI-enabled apps - on-premises and in the cloud.”
Going forward, VMware expects to integrate Bitfusion Flex Direct into the VMware vSphere platform to deliver a multi-cloud model to the data centre. This is in addition to attempting to “bridge the gap” between the traditional CPU-only and accelerated computing infrastructures.
“Our M&A strategy has been focused on striking a balance between the efforts of our world class R&D team with the right blend of inorganic technologies and talent,” Wang said. “We think Bitfusion’s technology and focus on modern app deployment will compliment both companies and help customers accelerate their modern app journey.”