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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

“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

“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.”