OVA Supporters UC4, Red Hat To Collaborate On Virtual And Cloud Infrastructure Solutions

Considered by some to be the biggest automation company you've never heard of, UC4 is looking to get a lot more respect with its collaboration with Red Hat to enhance automated open source solutions for virtual and cloud infrastructures. Based in Austria, with U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., UC4's technology is designed to automate IT and business processes across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments, with the automation either time- or event-based.

September 1, 2011

3 Min Read
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Considered by some to be the biggest automation company you've never heard of, UC4 is looking to get a lot more respect with its collaboration with Red Hat to enhance automated open source solutions for virtual and cloud infrastructures. Based in Austria, with U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., courtesy of the 2007 acquisition of AppWorx, UC4 has more than 2,000 customers and annual revenues of $75 million. Its technology is designed to automate IT and business processes across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments, with the automation either time- or event-based.

A David to the Goliaths of IT process automation--BMC, CA, HP and IBM--UC4 will collaborate with Red Hat to offer enterprises its multitenant, scalable, enterprise automation technology, along with Red Hat’s open source solutions for dynamically managing virtual resource requirements and private and public cloud infrastructures with built-in automated provisioning. The company says the key benefits will be a decrease in costs and the manual effort required to initiate and orchestrate virtualized infrastructure, as well as more aggressive service-level agreements.

We view UC4's technology quite favorably, as is evident in one of our recent reports, says Glenn O'Donnell, senior analyst, Forrester Research. "It's name recognition, or lack thereof, is a challenge. It needs partners to help overcome this. Red Hat is a logical choice for both firms. UC4 needs a good channel, and Red Hat is a great one. Red Hat needs automation, especially in light of acquisitions and organic automation developments at VMware, Citrix--especially cloud.com--and Microsoft. Automation is the killer capability for evolving virtualization to the next levels, including cloud."

The collaboration has been spurred by the May launch of the Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium whose members include BMC, HP, IBM and Red Hat. The alliance is committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies, including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). While UC4 is also a member, it says its competitors are offering a migration strategy while it is offering an innovation strategy. Together with Red Hat, it says it can change the status quo, as the world evolves to a more heterogeneous, commodity and even open source architecture.

O'Donnell says VMware is, hands-down, the king of the hypervisor hill, especially in enterprise production environments, where it commands close to 100% of the workloads. He expects this will change as Microsoft expands and open systems from Citrix and Red Hat get traction. "VMware's biggest advantage is its growth beyond the hypervisor. Right now, I'm on my way home from VMworld, where it's all about their automation capabilities to enable cloud computing. Its biggest threat is its own economic model. For large-scale needs, Xen and KVM are more cost-effective. This is why most public cloud providers are based on them."

Details of the partnership are still being worked out, but UC4 and Red Hat are currently working together and will have more concrete developments to announce shortly, says the company. The initial target market will be Fortune 2000 companies with at least one foot--if not two--in the services business, such as financial services, as well as those with at least half of their IT shops virtualized. These organizations are looking for an IT automation platform, and at a lower-cost model that doesn't lock them into a single vendor, says UC4.

According to last month's Forrester Research report, "Market Overview: IT Process Automation, Q3 2011," UC4 embodies the trend toward IT process automation convergence to cover the full spectrum of today’s automation needs more than any other vendor’s solution. Its solution, One Automation, provides a platform that combines workload and run book automation with system management integration and complex event processing under one umbrella. Eventually this platform will cater to all the automation needs of the enterprise.

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