Mark Davison is at VMworld 2018 Europe in Barcelona – It was an air-punching moment worthy of most professional footballers – and one that he repeated during the day – when VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger  caught his audience of nearly 12 000 by complete surprise with the announcement that the company has acquired a little-known company called Heptio.

In fact, some delegates and, indeed, some VMware executives, said they had never heard of the company, never mind the acquisition. It is arguably one of the best kept secrets in the industry in recent times.

“Not only do we have a common vision around the delivery and simplification of Kubernetes, but we have also acquired the services of two leading gurus in the environment,” Gelsinger says.

Heptio is regarded as one of the leaders in the open Kubernetes ecosystem and was founded by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, two of the creators of Kubernetes. Its products and expertise help organisations deploy and operationalise Kubernetes.

This is complemented by Heptio’s work with organisations through training, support and professional services that speed integration of Kubernetes and related technologies into the enterprise. As a result, Heptio will be able to open new channels for VMware to further engage the open source community and harden upstream Kubernetes, as well as support the cloud native needs of the largest enterprises in the world.

VMware and Pivotal have delivered PKS, the industry’s most comprehensive Kubernetes portfolio covering customer use cases for on-premises deployment and as a cloud service. The offerings enable organisations to operate Kubernetes and run their modern applications in a cloud-agnostic fashion. Upon completion of the acquisition, Heptio’s Kubernetes solution, expertise and community leadership will enhance the VMware portfolio and further accelerate enterprise adoption of Kubernetes.

“Kubernetes is emerging as an open framework for multi-cloud infrastructure that enables enterprise organisations to run modern applications,” says Paul Fazzone, senior vice-president and GM, Cloud Native Apps Business Unit, VMware.

“Heptio products and services will reinforce and extend VMware’s efforts with PKS to establish Kubernetes as the de facto standard for infrastructure across clouds upon closing. We are thrilled that the Heptio team led by Craig and Joe will be joining VMware to help us guide customers as they move to a multi-cloud world.”

“The team at Heptio has been focused on Kubernetes, creating products that make it easier to manage multiple clusters across multiple clouds,” says Craig McLuckie, CEO and co-founder of Heptio. “And now we will be tapping into VMware’s cloud native resources and proven ability to execute, amplifying our impact.

“VMware’s interest in Heptio is a recognition that there is so much innovation happening in open source. We are jointly committed to contribute even more to the community—resources, ideas and support.”