Management Feeding Frenzy

HP, IBM snack on small software firms as they try to build a cross-platform management meal for data center managers

April 3, 2004

2 Min Read
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All of the sudden, large hardware vendors appear to be falling over themselves to pick up a new range of cross-platform management software.

Today, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) completed the acquisition of Novadigm part of its efforts to strengthen its portfolio of OpenView management software. This came just 24 hours after IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)revealed its acquisition of data center software specialist Candle Corp. (see HP Completes Novadigm Purchase and IBM Holds a Candle).

So what's up? Quite simply, the larger vendors appear to be swooping in on these software companies to build a larger suite of tools to manage disparate parts of a data center, including various hardware and OS platforms.

Candles infrastructure management products, for example, cover a wide range of hardware and software, from IBM’s zSeries mainframe to the Unix, Linux, and Windows platforms.

OK, so the benefits to IBM and HP are pretty clear, but what does all this mean for end-users? The initial signs are positive.Dan Gardner, senior analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group, believes that increased competition spells good news for IT managers who are responsible for running data centers. He says, “The net result for users is that they should have better choice for their data center infrastructure -- so they should shop around.

“As each player tries to usurp the others with the best solution, that gives the end user more choices."

Gardner also believes that HP’s announcement is further evidence of a growing trend whereby the big boys are becoming increasingly aware of what users need in their data centers. He says, “This substantiates the trend towards vendors recognizing that their users want to lower their total costs and simplify admin.”

Even the issue of standards, which has long been a missing ingredient in management software, is now being addressed. Last week, for example, the SuSE Inc.division of Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) announced an open-source systems management project that aims to tie together disparate systems and a range of tools. These include HP’s OpenView, IBM’s Tivoli, Computer Associates’ Unicenter and Novell’s own ZENWorks portfolio.

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

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