EMC on May 27 demonstrated once again that automation is the definitive trend in data centers in 2009.
The storage and data protection infrastructure giant added a key component to its data center control software catalog when it announced the acquisition of OEM partner Configuresoft, a provider of server configuration, change and compliance management software.
Financial details of the transaction were not made public.
EMC said the deal for the privately held company is expected to close in June and will not materially affect its multibillion-dollar balance sheet.
Configuresoft, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., claims to have about 400 customers worldwide, including 13 of the world’s 25 largest companies. The company was founded in 1999 by E. Alexander Goldstein, Dennis Moreau, Louis Woodhill and Alan Sage and named Fundamental Software. It was renamed in 2001.
Configuresoft provides automated and optimized server management software that speeds up the adoption of virtualization, monitors policy and security compliance, and aids GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) across IT system infrastructures.
EMC has contracted with Configuresoft since mid-2008 to provide most of these features under the labels of EMC Server Configuration Manager and EMC Configuration Analytics Manager.
EMC’s goal of providing a complete data center automation package is now reached, Bob Quillin, EMC’s senior director of product development, told eWEEK.
“We have been building out a pretty formidable array of data center automation tools,” Quillin said. “We’ve had excellent automated storage management products for a long time, and we just announced Storage Configuration Advisor as a new product. Two years ago we acquired Voyence, which provides automated network configuration. Configuresoft focuses on the server, which was the one big puzzle piece that was missing.
“We now have completed that trifecta of storage, network and server for a whole data center automation package.”
Configuresoft’s own Enterprise Configuration Manager and Configuration Intelligence Analytics will continue to be known as EMC Server Configuration Manager and Configuration Analytics Manager, based upon the OEM agreement, Quillin said.
These tools help IT administrators detect, prioritize and correct configuration compliance issues, Quillin said, in keeping with such legislation as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PCI (payment card industry) regulations. Rich analytics are provided in one dashboard for viewing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
EMC Evolving Toward Next-Generation Platform
“It makes sense in view of EMC’s expanding management portfolio for the data center, and their ambitions for providing a more complete portfolio for IT infrastructure management,” Scott Crawford, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, told eWEEK.
“EMC has stated that it is seeking to evolve towards becoming the equivalent of a next-generation platform. Configuresoft is particularly well aligned with this objective, as EMC can now exploit a broader set of configuration, change, financial, service and security information.”
EMC’s broadest primary competitors, such as Hewlett-Packard with its OpenView Configuration Management suite and IBM with Tivoli Configuration Manager, have been strong in this space for some time, Crawford noted.
But EMC still has work to do, even after the Configuresoft acquisition, to realize the full benefits of the deal, Crawford said.
“There is still much to develop from this acquisition. Despite promises of expanded support, Configuresoft has so far focused its virtual server management capabilities exclusively on VMware. This is not good enough for the 90 percent of virtual enterprises that need heterogeneous virtualization support,” Crawford said.
“EMC needs to be more specific about its plans, especially for Microsoft Hyper-V support, but also for support of leading Xen-based virtualization solutions (Citrix, Oracle, Novell). While EMC and Configuresoft have already enjoyed tight integration, past acquisitions have not taken advantage of obvious synergies, and indeed EMC steadfastly refuses to integrate its VMware, RSA, Documentum, storage and management business units more tightly.
“EMC must take pains to integrate Configuresoft more effectively than some of its larger acquisitions,” Crawford said.
Once the acquisition is finalized, Configuresoft will become a part of EMC’s Resource Management Software Group, Quillin said.