BMC this week is set to announce new and upgraded products that the company says will help IT managers automate the process of configuring servers, client and network devices.
BMC Service Automation includes four applications -- covering network devices, servers, clients and IT processes -- built on technologies the vendor acquired over the years. To start, BMC will introduce Configuration Automation for Networks, an application it developed during its quiet acquisition of Emprisa Networks. This application cuts down the manual effort involved in collecting configuration data from switches, routers, firewalls and other network devices, BMC says. The software integrates with BMC's Atrium configuration management database (CMDB) and will enable IT managers to incorporate network device data into their larger service management efforts
"The Emprisa technology gives BMC the ability to offer customers a way to look at their device data from a business service management perspective," says Herb Van Hook, BMC vice president of business planning.
BMC also incorporated the run-book automation technology it acquired from RealOps in July (rebranded as BMC Run Book Automation) across the suite, and will continue to offer the IT process automation software as a stand-alone application. With this suite release, BMC also upgraded its Configuration Automation for Servers and Configuration Automation for Clients, both built on Marimba technology BMC acquired with the company in 2004, with additional patching and platform support.
Industry watchers say BMC is well-equipped to challenge competitors such as CA, HP and IBM now that it has filled the network technology gap. By automating change and configuration management, BMC will be able to potentially reduce downtime and headaches for customers using the suite, says Rich Ptak, founder and principal of Ptak, Noel & Associates.
"BMC has been doing acquisitions in an incremental and rational manner, such as getting automation technology in place and then acquiring configuration management tools -- which is one of the riskier parts of management because a bad change can cause a lot of problems," Ptak says. "And finally all the management vendors are realizing the seriousness of the network. The network is the one common element among all the other pieces and without being able to manage it, you're screwed."
BMC's Service Automation licensing is based on a per managed resource basis, with a typical configuration for a data center with 500 servers and 100 network devices starting at approximately US$150,000. Pricing for BMC Configuration Automation for Servers is priced at US$200 per CPU, BMC Configuration Automation for Clients is priced at US$42 per client, and Configuration Automation for Networks is priced at US$150 per device, with volume discounts available. BMC's Atrium CMDB is included in the price of each solution.