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BMC buying out configuration management company

BMC buying out configuration management company

BMC integrates automation of network device configuration

BMC has closed a deal to acquire Emprisa Networks, equipping the management software maker with network device configuration technology that it will use to augment its IT process automation and business service management product suites.

BMC did not disclose financial details of the deal that involves BMC acquiring Emprisa and its network change and configuration technology, E-NetAware. Emprisa competes with the likes of AlterPoint, Intelliden and Voyence -- as well as Opsware's Rendition Networks technology (now part of HP) -- with software that automates the time-consuming and error-prone process of collecting network device configuration information and keeping a data repository updated as changes occur.

The acquisition, BMC officials say, will enable BMC to offer its customers automated network device configuration capabilities with software that integrates into other BMC offerings, such as its Atrium configuration management database.

For instance, as part of a larger announcement around BMC's Service Automation software suite, the company introduced its Configuration Automation for Networks application, which is based on Emprisa's E-NetAware technology and couples it with BMC's other recent purchase, RealOps' Automation Management Platform.

"We have had partnership activities with them for some time and the technology is a really good fit for our customers," says Herb Van Hook, BMC vice president of business planning. "Emprisa technology is able to look at the network devices as though they are supporting some business services and is able to deal with them holistically as though they are part of a business service."

Industry watchers say the buy will give BMC the network expertise it needs to deliver on its business service management vision. BSM promises to manage the underlying IT infrastructure in such a way that it best supports critical applications and business services. And to do that, BMC needs a view into the network.

"Business services involve software, servers, networks and storage so if you want to control the configuration and capacity of your business services you need to have 'knobs' for each infrastructure area," says Jasmine Noel, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel and Associates. Emprise gives them the control knob for networks, which BMC didn't have before."

Other management software makers have also made acquisitions to gain network expertise. CA acquired Concord, which was known for network performance management software, and Concord had acquired Aprisma Management Technologies, which made its name in network fault management products.

IBM acquired Micromuse's Netcool network fault management technology to add the critical network component to it larger IT service management product suites.

By combining BMC software, Emprisa technology and RealOps' AMP IT process automation software will help BMC provide the orchestration layer to automate such configuration management tasks across various IT domains.

For instance, RealOps technology works by integrating into other management systems and is able to automate tasks across databases, servers, storage and networks. Typically automation tasks were specific to a system or IT domain, but industry watchers say technology such as RealOps coupled with BMC service management wares will enable the automation to be carried out across various silos and in the appropriate sequence.

"All the tasks that need to be completed for IT service management start in a different area of operations, and what has been lacking is an orchestration layer that links those different functions across those silos and something that understands the sequence in which they have to be done," says Rich Ptak, founder and principal of Ptak, Noel and Associates.

Emprisa has about 50 employees that will now be a part of BMC's service management business unit.

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