BladeLogic Boosts Management

Startup is going after IBM and HP with its new systems management software

October 21, 2004

3 Min Read
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BladeLogic Inc. is taking on some of the big names in data center management with its latest automation software, dubbed Operations Manager (see BladeLogic Intros Ops Manager 6).

A management application that installs an agent on data center hardware and runs under its operating system, BladeLogic's software lets data center managers provision their servers, deploy patches, and set systems-wide service levels for the likes of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) databases and email servers.

All this is meant to help data center managers cope with increasingly complex IT infrastructures (see Forums Unite on Management Standards). It's also meant to help firms keep up to date with the latest security patches and ensure that their systems can support the latest government regulations (see Study Outs Top Internet Vulnerabilities and Gartner: Sarbanes Struggle Continues).

An admirable mission. But BladeLogic is not the only vendor targeting this market. Operations Manager is up against high-profile systems management products such as IBM Corp.s (NYSE: IBM) Tivoli and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s (NYSE: HPQ) OpenView.

Like these competitors, BladeLogic is positioning its products closer to key virtualization and Linux vendors. With Operations Manager version 6, the software includes advanced support for VMware Inc. and open source vendor SuSE Inc.The strategy is no guard against HP and IBM, which also support Linux and VMware. But it's a solid tack: Increasingly, data center managers are looking to exploit the cost benefits and flexibility offered by Linux, and VMWare is already a big hitter in the virtualization market (see Clusters Make a Stand and VMware Delivers Open Interface).

Despite being relatively new to the market without a clear differentiator from the pack, BladeLogic's message appears to be getting through. So far, the vendor has amassed “just north of 100 customers," according to Vance Loiselle, the company’s vice president of marketing.

One of these is online food retailer FreshDirect, which has been using an early version of the platform for the last two months. The software is currently running on 46 Egenera Inc. blade servers and a NetScaler Inc. load balancer.

Myles Trachtenberg, FreshDirect’s CTO, says he now has a much faster turnaround when deploying new applications. “As we need to deploy a new release of code, Operations Manager handles the distribution, installation, and startup of the [data center] platforms,” he said.

Once capable only of deploying new code on eight to 10 servers over two and a half hours, FreshDirect now can deploy new code on the 46 Egenera servers in between 30 and 45 minutes, Trachtenberg added.So, will he be looking at the latest version of Operations Manager? “Absolutely. We will be testing that release internally and look at the deployment shortly after.”

BladeLogic was founded in 2001 by two former execs at ASP Breakaway Solutions; Dev Ittycheria and Vijay Manwani. Ittycheria is now BladeLogic’s CEO while Manwani serves as CTO.

There is also plenty of money behind the firm. BladeLogic completed its C Series funding round earlier this year, which was led by Chicago-based VC MK Capital. This brought BladeLogic’s total funding to $25 million.

Next up is an increase in headcount. According to Loiselle, BladeLogic is planning to expand its 90-strong workforce to between 110 and 120 employees by the end of the year.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum0

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