EMC, BMC collaborate on open storage management

EMC and BMC Software Wednesday announced a strategic relationship in which each will resell or license the other company’s storage management products.

BMC will sell EMC’s ControlCenter Software. EMC has acquired the exclusive rights to distribute BMC’s PATROL Storage Manager.

“This announcement makes an enormous statement that EMC is ready to take advantage of the open software market and be a significant player in the open software business,” says Brian Babineau, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group.

“EMC is going to do that by talking to BMC’s 5,500 installed Patrol customers. The reseller relationship is also an enormous opportunity for BMC.”

Further, the companies have agreed that:

* EMC will support BMC in providing maintenance service and support to current PATROL Storage Manager customers.

* BMC will be able to offer PATROL Storage Manager customers' equivalent EMC ControlCenter licenses in order to provide a migration or upgrade path from PATROL Storage Manager.

* The companies will establish cooperative marketing and technology initiatives.

EMC has been trying to break into the open storage software market for the last couple of years. It has acquired several software companies to bolster that initiative, including storage resource management companies Astrum Software and Prisa Networks, virtualization company FilePool, as well as software companies Conley, Terascape and CrosStor. EMC has also, with these acquisitions and research and development money, re-tooled many of its products to include heterogeneous management and operability with other vendors’ hardware.

BMC, conversely, has stepped away from the storage management space in the last year, instead deciding to focus on its application and server management and monitoring software. In February, it announced that it would no longer develop its PATROL Storage Manager software, leading users to wonder what to use and where to migrate.

“BMC realized that its core competency was in network infrastructure management, server management and data center monitoring,” Babineau says.

“When BMC takes a look at where its next round of R&D money goes, it has to consider that there are a lot of market players in the storage management software area and a lot of R&D costs needed to interoperate with other storage array and switch vendors. It’s a significant cost to a company whose core competency is a little higher up in the food chain.”

This isn’t first time EMC and BMC have been rumored to do business together. Rumors persistently swirled as much as a year ago, that EMC would acquire BMC. EMC last year wooed away BMC’s head of its Enterprise Systems Management Group, Chris Gahagan and put him in charge of EMC’s software initiatives.

The effect the EMC/BMC relationship will have on other storage software companies is already being predicted.

“It makes for a head-on collision in the next six to twelve months as Veritas integrates its Precise and Jareva software into its products and as EMC migrates BMC Patrol Storage Manager customers and starts calling on BMC’s installed base.”

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