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IBM makes ‘illuminating’ acquisition

Apr 07, 20044 mins
Data CenterIBM

* IBM’s planned acquisition of Candle has advantages

Last week, IBM announced it has agreed to purchase Candle for an unspecified sum, pending regulatory approval, which is expected in the second quarter of this year.

Candle will become a part of IBM’s software group under Robert LeBlanc, general manager of Tivoli, and the Candle brand will be overlaid on top of existing IBM brands including Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, and DB2.

The addition of Candle to the IBM family makes a tremendous amount of sense, and will be a net win for customers of both companies. In fact, these customers are the same – nearly 100% of Candle’s customers are also IBM customers. The combination could mean better deals for Candle customers, who may be able to integrate their Candle licenses with existing IBM agreements. 

In addition to significantly bolstering IBM’s management and development offerings with products like OMEGAMON and PathWAI, Candle’s products will also help IBM fulfill its “On Demand” vision. In case you’ve been asleep for the past couple of years, IBM has been promoting On Demand Computing as a key way for IT to rapidly adapt to changing business conditions, ensuring the performance and availability of business-critical systems while increasing IT productivity and driving down costs. IBM envisions this occurring through the seamless integration of business processes with the IT infrastructure that supports them, which can only happen through the convergence of key management technologies, including automation, provisioning, security, policies, and traditional management systems.

Candle’s products are a significant addition to IBM’s On Demand vision. Candle’s automation products, which work on mainframe and distributed systems alike, will play a key role in carrying out the tasks that are necessary for a truly on-demand data center to work, such as provisioning and de-provisioning of resources in a unified way based on business policies.

Candle’s monitoring technologies will also play a key role in IBM’s autonomic initiatives, in which systems are able to rapidly and automatically take action in order to ensure optimal performance. IBM’s Autonomic Manager, for example, depends on many external “sensors” which feed it real-time data that it uses to direct activities on managed devices through a closed-loop combination of management data and policy. Think of autonomics in the context of human biology – the brain, which directs elements such as the heart to pump at a given rate, would be incapable of doing so without feeds from a tremendous number of sensors (nerves) that report the current state of virtually every system in the human body. Products like OMEGAMON will serve as the sensors for IBM’s autonomic engine, and IBM needs as many of these as it can get.

Another key aspect of an autonomic system is the ability for closed-loop command and control. What this means is that once the autonomic manager determines an action to take, there have to be technologies that enable the changes to happen, and the system then has to be able to monitor the impact of those changes. Candle’s automation products, including AF/Operator and AF/Integrated Resource Manager, combined with OMEGAMON, provide this needed functionality on both mainframe and distributed systems.

In summary, I am very bullish on the addition of Candle to IBM, and I feel it will be both a short-term and a long-term win for IBM’s customers. I am sure that a number of Candle employees are celebrating, as the liquidity event that they have been long waiting for (some since 1976) looks like it is finally going to occur.

One way or another, with all of the consolidation that is happening in the industry, 2004 is certainly going to be an interesting year.