"All the infrastructure players are doing more in the management game, especially in the virtualization world, because for now, customers are turning to their infrastructure provider for their initial take on management capabilities. And management technology is a way to reduce total cost of ownership and obviously an opportunity for a new revenue stream," says Cameron Haight, research vice president covering IT operations management for Gartner. "The traditional management players are trying to figure out their relationship with those infrastructure vendors that are clearly augmenting their portfolios with management technology. This continuing progression from the infrastructure providers will be interesting to watch as former partners become competitors and management software makers look for ways to differentiate themselves from the pack."
Microsoft acquires Opalis
Microsoft in 2009 acquired the technology many industry watchers expect to be most in demand in 2010. Opalis offered customers IT process automation software, which all of the leading management software makers either developed or acquired. For instance, HP acquired Opsware, while BMC bought RealOps and BladeLogic. And CA and IBM organically developed automation technology.
"IT process automation became the mantra for all major IT operations management vendors," says David Williams, research vice president at Gartner.
The Opalis buy gives Microsoft the technology management vendors need to manage virtual systems as well as applications and services delivery via cloud computing.
"IT process automation is a real needed technology and it becomes more important when you talk about virtual systems because virtualization requires rapid responses, it requires things be done at automation speed, not human speed," says Andi Mann, vice president of research at Enterprise Management Associates. "Microsoft was one of the vendors in the dark on automation so this acquisition gives the vendor a chance to extend automation to Azure and other cloud environments, because cloud computing requires a level of workflow and orchestration that Microsoft could not have done well in the short-term on its own."
BMC acquires Tideway