Battling for the Cloud Tops - BMC Cloud Lifecycle Manager v3
There is a battle going on for who can deliver the best cloud management, or rather, the top-most cloud management. On one side, cloud "stack" providers are building production-grade management components alongside their cloud technologies. On the other side, systems management vendors are evolving or "re-inventing" their best of breed data center solutions to cover cloud management. It seems everyone wants to own the uppermost management "umbrella" that rules the cloud for enterprise-wide global provisioning and application servicing.
It's premature to judge the best approach but VMware has recently upped the stakes by acquiring several solutions that address both physical and virtual resources (e.g. Dynamic Ops) at ever higher management layers. Microsoft's System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager manages across vSphere, XenServer, and Hyper-V. And BMC, a traditional systems management vendor, has just improved their cloud management game with the release of Cloud Lifecycle Manager (CLM) v3.0. CLM v3 integrates with VMware's vCloud Director while also managing physical infrastructure and old-school enterprise "virtualization" technologies like IBM's AIX LPARs.
I suspect that the big "4" system management vendors have some work cut out to transform both their marketing and their technology to stay on top of an increasingly cloudy enterprise IT management stack. Starting with a clean-slate in the cloud might lead to leaner, more efficient solutions. However, while new "virtual" data centers might be built solely in the cloud, few existing data centers have ever disappeared into the cloud. "Hybrid" is the obvious future for most, and the large portfolio management vendors have a good shot at building best-of-breed system management across everything starting at the top "cloud". BMC ties CLM into their related Cloud Operations Management solution, which one suspects would readily leverage their best-of-breed Atrium configuration database, Remedy workflow, and Bladelogic automation solutions (not to mention a deep but currently far less-touted expertise in legacy systems management and predictive performance algorithms).
I'm sure there is more to come as this battle heats up, and we should expect to see acquisition interest for hot young cloud management companies growing into the latter half of this year, especially if they offer capabilities that enhance and leverage existing system management solutions.
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