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Today at Puppet Camp Luke Kanies and I announced the sale of The Marionette Collective to Puppet Labs – The company behind the well known Puppet Configuration Management system. There’s an official press release and FAQ up.

This is a pretty major milestone for me and MCollective as a project. MCollective started as an exploration of new ideas and eventually evolved into a viable product that large customers might want to use.

Personally I am not that interested in becoming a software vendor with sales, support and all that kind of thing. I’d much rather devote my time to the more technical aspects of such a venture. When I was approached by Puppet Labs about this I was pretty excited – they already know how to run a commercial open source project and have the team and structure in place to make it work.

In time we will be publishing a detailed road map for the product and how it will integrate with the plans at Puppet Labs. One of the plans I’m already very excited about is the integration into the Puppet Dashboard. A graphical front-end is something I’ve often wanted but do not have the skill set to build, Puppet Labs has a great team in place and together we’ll lower the barrier to entry of Data Center Automation significantly.

As a heavy Puppet user I’ve designed MCollective to work well with Configuration Management tools in general – by aligning commercially with what can rightfully be described as the best of breed CM tool and working on creating a tighter integration between the two projects I hope we’ll see some great innovation and improvement.

While I am not joining Puppet Labs on a permanent basis I will be working with the team on improving MCollective as well as Puppet, I will still be developing and still be around the community and advising on the direction that MCollective will take.

The work till now was done on my own time and funded by me personally. This sale will give me the opportunity to be paid for my ongoing work on the project and to devote serious time to it which will translate in a faster pace of innovation and achieving the goals of the current road map in a much quicker time than I first hoped for.

Finally I’d like to thank the devoted early adopter community, there’s been some excellent work done by utilizing MCollective as a framework and I look forward to growing this community. This move should validate your choice and time spent in supporting my project and I hope I can provide you all with an even better tool in the near future.