EMC, Symantec on Collision Course in Systems Management

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


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EMC's purchase of configuration management software publisher Configuresoft gives it products and technology to manage servers, storage and networking devices. The acquisition moves EMC further away from its storage core and a direct rival to Symantec, which is focusing more on systems management.

Storage giant EMC is taking a step closer to becoming more of a systems management company--and on a collision course with Symantec--through the acquisition of configuration management software company Configuresoft.

Configuresoft, a pioneer in security and network device configuration management and change control applications, will become a part of EMC’s Resource Management Software Group once the acquisition closes. The acquisition price is undisclosed.

"Server configuration and change management are among the top challenges faced by IT. With Configuresoft, we’re gaining market-leading server configuration management solutions, giving customers the power they need to fully automate the data center in compliance with new physical and virtual best practice policies," said EMC’s Chris Gahagan, senior vice president, Resource Management Software in a statement.

Configuresoft originally focused on change management and security settings of firewalls, routers and nascent security appliances. It competed against the likes of Altiris (now part of Symantec) and Novadigm (now part of Hewlett-Packard). Over the past several years, configuration management has moved away from purely security to a role of network and device optimization and total infrastructure management. Additionally, configuration solutions such as Configuresoft’s are increasingly seen as critical to meet regulatory compliance requirements.

"With the addition of Configuresoft solutions to our broad family of IT management software, EMC now offers the strongest and most complete combination of server, storage and network configuration automation tools on the market today," Gahagan said.

Once the acquisition is complete, EMC plans to rebrand Configuresoft’s products—Enterprise Configuration Manager (ECM) and Configuration Intelligent Analytics (CIA) as "EMC Server Configuration Manager" and "Configuration Analytics Manager." The two products working together provide users with change management control over their IT infrastructure as well as analytics for measuring performance.

Configuresoft has a limited channel program, given that its core products are designed for large enterprise environments. The company does offer its Rapid Security Configuration Assessment service to partners to perform infrastructure status and regulatory compliance checks. EMC hasn't said if and what Configuresoft products will be sold through its channels.

"Becoming part of EMC is the right move at the right time – giving us the financial and technology resources of a proven leader in information management to take our market leading solutions to the next level," said Configuresoft CEO Alex Goldstein in a statement.

EMC and its satellite companies—namely VMware and RSA—have been making a series of moves that push the company outside its core storage domain. EMC is an integral member of the Cisco Systems’ alliance to build virtualized data centers, and EMC recently entered into an agreement with McAfee to offer online backup services as an alternative to Symantec. RSA is partnering with Microsoft to develop identity-based data loss prevention tools. And VMware, the company on everyone’s dance card, invested $20 million in Terremark, a provider of cloud-based data center and storage services.

The alliance with McAfee and the acquisition of Configuresoft will put EMC on a collision course with Symantec, which is placing increasing emphasis on its infrastructure management and workflow software.

"You have to focus on what matters, and it’s not the disks and it’s not the PCs. It’s information," said Symantec CEO Enrique Salem says in a March interview with Channel Insider. "Our company needs to be focused on security and the management of information. Don’t expect us to get into the firewall business; it’s not what we do."



Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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