EMC acquires network-configuration player

Voyence to bring change and configuration-management technology

The number of pure-play network change and configuration-management vendors decreased again as EMC announced it had purchased Voyence for an undisclosed amount.

EMC, which did not reveal financial details of the buy, said VoyenceControl network change and configuration-management software will be put to use immediately in EMC's products for managing IT service delivery. EMC says the configuration technology will offer EMC customers new capabilities around network compliance, security and serviceability.

"It's a good move for EMC because it fills out the network management solution so the company has performance, availability, configuration and change automation," says Jasmine Noel, a principal analyst with Ptak, Noel and Associates. "Since Voyence already integrates with Smarts it should be fairly easy to cross sell -- customers benefit because they can seamlessly move from problem identification through root-cause analysis and resolution."

EMC, which acquired management vendor Smarts and nLayers, an application dependency mapping player, said in a statement the Voyence technology would enhance EMC's cross-domain management offerings.

"EMC's leadership in cross-domain incident and problem management will be combined with Voyence's network change and configuration management to provide premier closed-loop orchestration, enabling customers to address the complexities associated with the intersection of problem and change management," said Chris Gahagan, EMC's senior vice president of Resource Management Software.

Voyence, headquartered in Richardson, Texas, has 78 employees and 100 customers, including Rutgers University, the New York Board of Trade and Deutsche Bank. The company will be fully integrated into EMC's Resource Management Software business unit. "Together with EMC, Voyence now has the resources to realize the full potential of our technology and bring a broader set of products to a larger customer base much faster," said Voyence President and CEO Susan Nash.

According to market research firm Enterprise Management Associates, 60 per cent of network downtime is caused by human error during device configuration. There's also potential for error when real-time emergencies, such as viruses or worms occur. To address the complexity of the problem, network change and configuration-management vendors typically automate the process of collecting multivendor configurations and maintaining them in a database. And the technology, brought to the fore a few years back by such start-ups as AlterPoint, Emprisa Networks, Intelliden, Rendition Networks and Voyence, is attracting attending from larger vendors.

For instance, EMC's Voyence acquisition follows BMC's move in a similar direction when the systems-management vendor picked up Emprisa Networks earlier this month. Last year Cisco decided to deliver software around managing configuration across its and other network equipment maker's gear.

HP, which had a partnership with Voyence, also brought network change and configuration management in-house with its Opsware buy this summer. Opsware had previously acquired Rendition Networks and used its TrueControl technology to build Opsware's Network Automation System software. It remains unclear how EMC acquiring Voyence will affect the HP partnership.

"The combination has the potential to hurt HP the most, as customers look to refresh their [Network Node Manager] implementations because of the new version. They may investigate other options, thereby giving EMC an opportunity to state their case," Noel says.

EMC said in a statement it does not expect the Voyence acquisition to have material impact on revenue in 2007.

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Denise Dubie

Network World

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