Say the word ‘Samsung,’ and most people will think smartphones and tablets. With the recent acquisition of Joyent, however, the tech giant seems intent on morphing into something else: a cloud-services provider with strong interest in containers and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Financial terms of the acquisition went undisclosed. Joyent, which will continue to operate as a standalone company, offers a handful of cloud-related products, most notably containers-as-a-service. (For those unfamiliar with containers, which simplify application development by allowing tech pros to pack an OS and supporting software into a partitioned virtual environment, check out Dice’s pieces on Windows containers and how Docker works.)
If the pairing of a consumer-electronics company with a highly specialized cloud firm strikes you as a bit odd, you’re not alone: earlier this week, Joyent CTO Bryan Cantrill issued a blog posting that delved into the thinking behind the deal. “As we heard Samsung’s vision—which included using Triton and Manta as the server-side foundation for a new generation of mobile- and IoT-based applications—it was hard not to get excited,” he wrote.
Joyent’s technology, which will stay open-source after the deal is completed, will allow Samsung to migrate at least some of its backend processes off Amazon Web Services (AWS). By bringing those processes in-house, Samsung could (at least in theory) more effectively concentrate on the aforementioned mobile-app and Internet of Things services.
Samsung competes aggressively against Apple, and any move the company makes into the IoT space will inevitably end up compared to Apple’s HomeKit. But with Joyent as an independent subsidiary, Samsung may also aim much higher, offering cloud services in direct competition with Amazon and Google. For tech pros who build mobile apps and depend on container services, that could mean another services option to consider, especially if Joyent uses Samsung’s capital to build out its product line.