Voyence, based in Richardson, Texas, will become a part of EMC's Resource Management Software unit, and its products will be integrated with EMC's software for managing IT services delivery. Voyence's product VoyenceControl already works with EMC Smarts, which together enable IT staff to move from problem identification within a network to root-cause analysis and resolution.
Data center automation tools perform a variety of tasks that would otherwise involve heavy lifting by IT staff. Some tools deploy, discover, and monitor applications, while others handle software patching, program maintenance, and hardware provisioning.
For the most part, data center automation requires a hodgepodge of system management and related tools. But major vendors such as EMC, CA, Hewlett Packard, and IBM are trying to change that by acquiring vendors of IT management tools in order to assemble a complete package.
Companies like Voyence offer technology that monitors and manages the configurations of multi-vendor devices attached to a network. The configuration information is stored in a database, where it can be used to automate the process of reconfiguring devices following a change event, such as a virus or worm attack.
In general, the acquisition of Voyence will give EMC customers new capabilities around network compliance, security, and serviceability. In addition, EMC can cross-sell each company's customers. For Voyence, the deal makes it part of a much larger organization. "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," Susan Nash, president and chief executive of Voyence, said in a statement.
Voyence customers include Rutgers University, the New York Board of Trade, and Deutsche Bank. The company, which has annual sales of $6 million, is part of a group of small vendors in the IT automation space. Other examples include BladeLogic and Opalis.
The list, however, is shrinking. BMC, for example, completed the acquisition of RealOps in July, combining BMC's configuration management technology with the latter company's software for automating many daily IT tasks.
Also in July, HP agreed to buy Opsware for $1.6 billion. Opsware's line of data center automation products, such as its Server Automation System and Network Automation System, hold the promise of reducing IT staffs by handling many routine chores, and escalating only the toughest problems to IT experts. Such automation technology, however, isn't cheap, requiring an investment of between $500,000 to $1 million or more, experts say.
EMC has made other acquisitions in the data-center automation space. In 2006, it acquired nLayers, a developer of software to discover and map applications across multiple servers; and in 2005, it bought Smarts, which made event automation and network systems management software.