BMC Unveils Linux Agenda

Software vendor will merge the operating system with enterprise management software.

BMC Software Inc. last week launched an initiative to extend enterprise management functions to Linux. Linux is among several high-growth areas targeted by the Houston-based management software provider as part of a restructuring of its research and development division, also announced last week.

Other high-growth divisions include storage, security and enterprise resource planning management for service providers.

The Linux initiative calls for BMC to extend its enterprise management tools to manage Linux production environments ranging from Intel Corp.-based processors to IBM zSeries mainframes.

A number of Fortune 1000 companies are evaluating Linux on the zSeries as a consolidation and cost-cutting move, said Fred Johannessen, director of BMCs Linux strategy.

"Last year, we saw a lot of customers running pilot programs [for Linux on zSeries processors]. Now we are seeing a movement toward the deployment process," Johannessen said. "With Linux, there is a great [return-on- investment] story. We want to play in both."

"Its an indication that Linux has moved into the mainstream," said Rich Ptak, an analyst at Hurwitz Group Inc., in Framingham, Mass. "Its going to have a position as a serious operating system alternative. I dont think itll push out Windows or Unix, but its definitely been accepted."

At the same time, BMC took an undisclosed equity stake in Aduva Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., under which BMC will resell Aduva Director software distribution and configuration management tools for Linux. BMC is rebranding Aduva Director as Deployment Manager for Linux. It is already available for Intel platforms, and BMC will release a version for the zSeries next quarter.

Also scheduled for Linux support are BMCs Patrol-Perform and Patrol- Predict tools for the collection of historical data, reporting and the analysis of workload needs. That tool set is available now on Intel platforms and will support the zSeries this summer.

In addition, BMC intends to combine its Mainview for Linux operations management tool into a single offering, Linux Server Management, for Intel processor and zSeries environments. That combined offering is due next month, along with Patrol for Internet Server Manager for Linux and Control-M Job Scheduler for Linux.

BMC does not, however, have first-mover advantage over its competition in the enterprise management space, Ptak said. Rival Computer Associates International Inc. last summer announced support for Linux that was due to ship in the third and fourth quarter of last year.