BMC Takes on HP in Data Center Automation

BMC's proposed BladeLogic acquisition sets up a clash of titans in the data center automation space.

BMC Software's proposed $800 million acquisition of BladeLogic will give enterprises looking to rein in data center operating costs two primary large-scale competitors to choose from, the other being Hewlett-Packard.

BMC with BladeLogic creates a huge rival to HP, which acquired Opsware last fall, although the other two members of the Big Four enterprise management providers-IBM and CA-provide some provisioning functionality.

"They [IBM and CA] have technologies and do claim to compete with us and [BladeLogic], but I think our and Blade's technologies are so head and shoulders better that practically speaking today they don't offer problems for us in the future," Bob Beauchamp, president and CEO of BMC, said in a conference call March 17. "This market is large and growing so fast, it is more greenfield than congested."

BladeLogic President and CEO Dev Ittycheria said that over the last 12 months, BladeLogic grew 91 percent, compared with overall industry growth of 20 percent, as reported by market researcher IDC.

Read more here about HP's acquisition of Opsware.

BMC officials said the company can extend its leadership in the business service management space with BladeLogic and help enterprises bring down the cost to operate data centers.

"There will be $140 billion in data center investments next year. We can take some large costs out of that for our customers. [Data center automation] is probably the lowest hanging fruit in IT," said Beauchamp.

BMC and BladeLogic have already integrated their products in multiple places, thanks to BMC's aggressive acquisition drive.

"Before we acquired RealOps [provider of run book automation solutions], they had partnered, so integration already existed there," Beauchamp said.

At the same time, BMC and BladeLogic created integration with the change and configuration management portions of BMC's Remedy help desk software, and BladeLogic had integrated its technology with BMC's Atrium Configuration Management Database.

Ittycheria has pledged to stay on with BMC and will report directly to Beauchamp. Once the acquisition closes, BladeLogic will become part of BMC's Business Service Automation unit, which also includes the RealOps run book automation technology.

"This will be the centerpiece of the service automation initiative. It will be run like the other units, with a dedicated sales force of specialists and client executives for the largest customers," Beauchamp said.

The $800 million cash acquisition is expected to close in 45 days.