BMC sets sights on Identify Software

Company to pump up Business Service Management strategy with application performance management buy.

BMC Monday announced its plans to acquire for $150 million in cash the shares of Identify Software, a maker of application problem resolution software.

The deal, scheduled to close before the end of June, will reinforce BMC's capabilities in managing Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and .Net environments, the company says, and add application problem resolution technology to BMC's recently announced transaction management product suite.

"Transactions are the lifeblood of all businesses," BMC President and CEO Bob Beauchamp said in a press release. "The acquisition of Identify's state-of-the-art application problem resolution technology will further extend BMC's leadership in transaction management and will continue to clearly differentiate BMC's Business Service Management (BSM) strategy."

Specifically, Identify's software, which the company sold as its AppSight Problem Resolution System, uses what company officials defined as "Black Box" technology. The software is installed on the server where the application is running and on all client machines that customers also want to track. The software comes with recording profiles that monitor for common application problems and can be configured to monitor specific metrics. The Black Box technology monitors application traffic in a "light" mode, and when a preset threshold, for example, is missed, the software will start capturing more data to help IT managers more quickly troubleshoot the problem.

"BMC already has discovery and topology mapping for J2EE applications which help problem resolution, but Identify brings transaction recording to the table which gives administrators the ability to replay the actual problematic transactions," says Jasmine Noel, principal analyst at market research firm Ptak, Noel & Associates. "So customers get some good technology to solve their current application management problems."

And going forward, BMC says Identify's ability to track application transactions across distributed heterogeneous platforms will enable BMC's products to better manage today's complex application architectures - as well as help customers prepare for the virtualized, grid and services-oriented architecture (SOA) based applications of the future.

"Enterprises will be using [business process management] solutions and SOA infrastructure to make their business processes more dynamic, so enterprise applications and transactions will change more frequently," Noel says. "IT will need solutions to manage the performance of dynamic applications that run on dynamic hardware resources and are integrated in dynamic ways."

She goes on to say BMC will need two key capabilities: one being the ability to automatically discover how infrastructure is configured (which BMC has in its Discovery Solution application); and the second being the ability to automatically track actual transaction paths through the infrastructure, which are likely to change daily.

"[BMC] gets that with the acquisition of Identify," Noel says. "So customers that buy today’s solutions are also getting the technologies in place to solve future problems."

The acquisition will also give BMC capabilities to better compete with IBM, Mercury Interactive and CA, considering the company's acquisition of Wily Technology earlier this year. In addition to Wily, Identify competes with the likes of Mercury Interactive when its software is used in a production network and Compuware when AppSight is used to work out bugs in application code during development.

Identify was founded in 1996 and had headquarters in New York and Israel. Along with the technology, BMC will also pick up some 500 Identify customers when the deal closes. "Customers are big winners as a result of this acquisition," Identify President and CEO Yochi Slonim said in a press release. "This is a very synergistic combination, and Identify is proud to be a part of it."

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT