BMC Bulks Up DBMS Portfolio With GridApp Acquisition

With its acquisition of GridApp Systems, BMC Software is expanding its portfolio of application, server, network and client configuration management to include database automation. BMC says the addition of GridApp's automated database provisioning, patching and administration capabilities will enable it to offer full-stack, end-to-end enterprise application deployment and management.

December 6, 2010

3 Min Read
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With its acquisition of GridApp Systems, BMC Software is expanding its portfolio of application, server, network and client configuration management to include database automation. BMC says the addition of GridApp's automated database provisioning, patching and administration capabilities will enable it to offer full-stack, end-to-end enterprise application deployment and management.

Terms for acquiring the privately held GridApp were not announced. BMC's revenue for the four fiscal quarters ending September 30 was approximately $1.96 billion. The two companies have been working together "loosely" for the last four years, but the timing was right to take the relationship to the next level, says BMC. BMC saw how enterprise customers were struggling to deal with the provisioning and configuring of databases, which are both manually intensive and soak up highly paid resources.Also, the technology silo around databases was ripe for automation, says BMC.

But automation was only part of the reason that the deal, six months in the making, was done. BMC says databases have increasingly become shared resources, and with the transition to the cloud, customers were demanding more flexible solutions. GridApp may be small, but it is a leader in this category and has a lot of Fortune 100 customers, says BMC.

Donna Scott, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says that the BMC-GridApp relationship was opportunistic in the past. Now that is is formal, she adds, BMC will integrate GridApp into many of its products, including Cloud Lifecycle Management (to add DBMS provisioning). 

In a recent Gartner report analyzing BMC ("SWOT: BMC Software, IT Operations Management, Worldwide"), analysts Rene Millman and Debra Curtis state that the company is among the top four IT operations management vendors (along with IBM, HP and CA), and is the largest vendor in the database management system (DBMS) and asset management software markets. They say that while BMC was late to the virtualization management game, it has very good foundational technologies, especially its service request catalog and BladeLogic provisioning software, that will help as BMC move into the management of cloud environments.GridApp's solution is already integrated with BMC BladeLogic Server Automation. BMC says its automation capabilities extend the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management solution, enabling more IT staff to request and manage database resources in cloud environments. 

That automation is essential because more than 40 percent of all mission-critical IT service outages are due to people and process errors and failures, according to Gartner research. A significant number of these outages are due to a lack of coordination among change management, release management and configuration management.

What makes the GridApp approach different is that it uses model-based automation, as opposed to scripting, and works with most relational databases, including Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, DB2, MySQL and PostgreSQL. This summer the company updated its Clarity application, which makes it easier for organizations to perform database automated functions such as applying patches.

By the end of the first quarter of 2011, BMC expects to have productized the integration between BladeLogic and GridApp that already exists. The second phase, integrating the reporting platform and tying GridApp into the cloud, should be complete in the second quarter. And from a go-to-market perspective, BMC says that GridApp's sales organization will become an overlay of its sales group.

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