The Vagrant open-source project has morphed into a startup, backed by Hashicorp, a new startup that will further build out the tool designed to manage the complexities of modern development within a virtual environment.

Hashicorp’s founder, Mitchell Hashimoto, is the co-creator of Vagrant, which he has managed since 2010. He said in an interview the traction for Vagrant has been considerable, leading him to form a company around the open source project. The New York Times, BBC,  Yammer, Expedia and Living Social all use the tool. Vagrant will remain an open-source project, free to developers.

Hashicorp will initially offer downloadable add-ons to the software for enterprise customers. In an interview, Hashimoto said he will invest in strengthening Vagrant’s documentation of Vagrant. He will then add support for VMware. Currently, Vagrant supports Oracle’s Virtual Box.

The cost savings for users cones with the automation. Vagrant can do a set up in an hour instead of a day or more.

The inspiration for the service came when in 2010, Hashimoto found himself spending time every six weeks to re-install software that bad been upgraded to a new version. He used that experience to begin automating the manual steps required to get up and running in a virtual environment.

Projects with conflicting dependencies can each get their own sandbox — keeping a developer’s workstation free of the hacks needed for multiple versions of software to coexist. With Vagrant,  operations engineers do not need a different local setup from production. They can experiment and test their configuration management changes before going live.

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