As businesses remould their IT infrastructure around such technologies as virtualisation and cloud computing, they often come across systems management challenges they are not equipped to handle.
That is driving demand for management tools that address more distributed architectures, and this is triggering acquisitions in the industry. IBM, for example, acquired network automation software vendor Intelliden, whose cloud-based iAudit application allows users to manage network configurations in the flexible and highly automated fashion that virtual environments require.
“The typical company is managing a more complex and ever-changing infrastructure – stretched across digital and physical assets,” explained Al Zollar, general manager at IBM Tivoli Software, of which Intelliden will now become part. “Companies are managing a virtualised computing layer that more than ever relies on the network.”
IBM cited analyst estimates claiming that over 60% of network outages were the result of manual configuration errors, adding that Intelliden’s software would reduce risk and improve network availability and employee efficiency.
February also saw systems management veteran CA acquire 3Tera, a privately held company whose tools allow organisations to deploy applications on cloud infrastructure using what it describes as “an intuitive graphical user interface”. “3Tera eliminates the manual, error-prone tasks that have historically hampered an organisation’s ability to deploy IT services to the cloud,” said the acquired company’s CEO, Barry X Lynn.
“As part of CA, we can bring rapid and simple cloud enablement to a dramatically larger group of customers.” Other deals in this space included VMware’s acquisition of its parent company EMC’s Ionix systems management properties, and Citrix’s acquisition of Paglo Labs, a cloud-based IT management software vendor.
Citrix announced a new service based on Paglo Labs’ technology, named GoToManage, which it says will make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their IT infrastructure.
Systems management in a box
Computer-maker Dell also had this end of the market in mind when it acquired systems management appliance vendor KACE Networks. KACE’s flagship product is K-BOX, an appliance that contains software to manage PCs, laptops and servers.
Analyst company The 451 Group says Dell will use the acquisition to bolster its SMB division, offering systems management functionality to organisations with up to 5,000 devices.
In 2007, Dell acquired two software-as-a-service systems management vendors, SilverBack and Everdream, both of which serve a similar market. But KACE’s technology will help Dell sell systems management tools to customers that require on-premise systems, The 451 Group said.