BMC's smart bet on BladeLogic

* BMC's buyout of BladeLogic fills a critical hole in its product portfolio

BMC's planned buyout of BladeLogic will give the leading management software vendor much-needed automated server provisioning technology, filling a critical hole in its product portfolio and giving BMC more ammunition to compete against HP and IBM.

When HP announced it would spend $1.6 billion on BladeLogic competitor Opsware, industry watchers pontificated on how BladeLogic, which at the time had recently filed for an IPO, would be able to up its asking price with potential suitors -- one of which by all accounts was management market contender EMC

But now that BMC staked its claim on the data center automation vendor, how exactly does it benefit the company rife with technology from other BMC buys like Marimba, Remedy, RealOps and ProactiveNet? According to a Goldman Sachs paper on the pending acquisition, BMC is addressing a significant need in its broad suite of products.

"An acquisition of BladeLogic by BMC fills a critical hole in BMC's [business service management] portfolio (automated server provisioning), and adds a strategic, high-profile, high-growth franchise to the BMC offerings," the Goldman Sachs report reads. "BladeLogic brings another key piece of functionality to BMC's platform, one that particularly benefits from the added complexity of virtual computing environments."

Management industry watcher Glenn O'Donnell (formerly an analyst with Meta Group and more recently a product manager at EMC) recently blogged about BMC's BladeLogic plans and raised the question of what competitors will do now that BMC has its hooks into the sought-after company.

"[BladeLogic]was one of the most highly sought prizes by larger management vendors, including IBM and yes, EMC and BMC. When HP acquired Opsware in 2007, preceded in 2006 by its acquisition of Mercury Interactive, it laid the gauntlet for major warfare in the IT operational automation market. The logical response was to match their moves with equally bold steps. One of the most anticipated of these steps was, “Who will buy BladeLogic?” O'Donnell writes. "That question has now been answered, leaving IBM, EMC, and others to decide how they will compete with HP and BMC."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.