Well-ordered application deployment and configuration management is something a lot of IT teams ignore, and it buys them trouble, says Richard Michaels, Asia–Pacific sales director for Marimba, now part of BMC.
The problems of keeping track of hardware and software assets and changes, ensuring software is configured correctly and not tampered with, tracking licence compliance and checking timely application of patches account for a considerable proportion of application failures, though it’s difficult to ascertain how much, as these factors are rarely separated out. Gartner analyst Kris Brittain recently reported that, based on client feedback, 40% of unplanned application downtime is caused by application failures — bugs, performance issues or changes that cause problems. While this total obviously includes newly discovered bugs, most of it comprises issues that could be solved by well-managed application deployment and change management, Michaels says.
Configuration management is Marimba’s business, and its capability will be enhanced by synergy with BMC’s suite of management products and the Remedy helpdesk suite that BMC acquired in 2002 from troubled Peregrine. Marimba will become a product line within BMC’s Remedy business unit.
The two companies have been partners for some years, but finally signed off the takeover deal last month.
HP’s recent acquisition of Novadigm, a direct competitor to Marimba, signals big-vendor awareness of the need. BMC/Marimba’s strongest competitors will continue to be Computer Associates and IBM-owned Tivoli, Michaels says; but there are a surprising number of sites taking a “roll-your-own” approach to configuration and change management
Marimba has 26 users in the Asia–Pacific region, but only one, an office of a multinational company, in New Zealand.