Market Roundup

November 2, 2007

HP Agrees that Citrix Is PowerSmart

EMC Acquisition of Voyence Strengthens Configuration and Change Management

Trend Micro Enters DLP Fray by Acquiring Provilla

IBM Enhances CDAT with New Toolset


HP Agrees that Citrix Is PowerSmart

Citrix Systems has announced a unique PowerSmart capability designed for organizations seeking to reduce datacenter power consumption as part of their application delivery infrastructure strategy. The new PowerSmart feature, which will be available as part of the Citrix Presentation Server product line, will enable organizations to set policies that automatically adjust server power consumption in response to application traffic levels to more effectively manage power during non-peak hours. HP is the first server vendor to demonstrate support for PowerSmart in conjunction with its power management tools for the HP ProLiant server family. The combination of Citrix’s application delivery infrastructure with HP’s focus on assisting customers to achieve better datacenter efficiency should help customers support green initiatives and best practices by increasing utilization of existing infrastructure while lowering consumption of power and cooling resources. Citrix stated that the new PowerSmart feature could help organizations reduce energy consumption in the datacenter by up to 50%. PowerSmart is compatible with all current versions and editions of Citrix Presentation Server and iLO-enabled HP servers. PowerSmart will be available in December to all Citrix Presentation Server customers as a free download.

We find this announcement interesting as it is in tune with the marketing mantra du jour, power efficiency, but more importantly as it illustrates a strategic solution that seeks to deliver enhanced efficiency not for a specific application or server, but rather for a collection of applications. For most organizations, there is not just one mission-critical application, but instead a set of applications that collectively comprise the mission-critical workflow for an enterprise. The value proposition of server-based delivery of applications as typified by Presentation Server is well understood; however, the PowerSmart feature adds considerable value to the solution as it can reduce the power consumption footprint based upon the dynamics of several independent applications. Enabling more intelligent server provisioning and load management that is driven by specific knowledge of each application’s workload and usage patterns to our way of thinking is a good thing. When taken in the context of a virtualized IT environment, this latest capability should further enhance the value proposition of consolidating application workloads and optimizing application traffic over the network.

HP’s support for PowerSmart is important for Citrix, its customers, and the market overall. HP is no newcomer to the energy efficiency discussion and as a leading vendor of servers, its direct support for PowerSmart on its servers and in its management software should give Citrix and its customers increased validation in this approach. Further, organizations that deploy Presentation Server and choose HP as their hardware vendor will have few reasons not to take advantage of PowerSmart especially if the channel partners or direct sales forces are doing their jobs. Ideally, customers would not have to be aware of PowerSmart as the feature would be simply considered a default part of any solution and would be enabled as a matter of course. Given the power savings that Citrix states are possible, we doubt that many organizations would decline the usage of PowerSmart, if they knew it existed.

Overall, we believe this announcement reflects the considerable value afforded by server-based application delivery technologies, not only from an application management perspective, but from an energy efficiency and cost perspective as well. The task at hand for Citrix is to get the same degree of support from the other major server vendors so that all of its customers can benefit from the PowerSmart technology while Citrix can be achieve the enviable position of having a valuable technology become another checklist item for application servers installations in most any datacenter.

EMC Acquisition of Voyence Strengthens Configuration and Change Management

EMC Corporation has announced its acquisition of privately held Voyence, a provider of network configuration and change management solutions that automate critical change, compliance, and activation processes. Voyence’s core software, VoyenceControl, helps companies reduce operational costs, increase availability, improve security, and demonstrate regulatory compliance. Voyence’s existing integration with EMC Smarts enables organizations to integrate network configuration change events detected by VoyenceControl into Smarts to resolve issues caused by misconfigurations while Smarts users can directly access VoyenceControl’s configuration database and launch remediation procedures from the Smarts interface. VoyenceControl provides an ITIL framework-compatible network change, configuration, and release management system to meet these needs. Additionally, the software analyzes network device security compliance to help ensure that every device is configured with the most recent security recommendations and software patches.  VoyenceControl effectively reduces the time it takes IT teams to update every device’s security profile from minutes per device to minutes for the entire network. Voyence will be fully integrated into EMC’s Resource Management Software business unit, which offers network change and configuration management solutions to help organizations automate their datacenter operations through a unique set of products that enable closed-loop automation for comprehensive discovery, compliance, analysis, automation, and visualization throughout the IT infrastructure.

Configuration and change management are constants in large organizations. Poorly orchestrated management of these functions can inadvertently lead to significant unplanned expenditures and security vulnerabilities. Complex, heterogeneous IT environments are especially at risk because a change in one element can lead to dramatic unintended consequences in other parts of the infrastructure. It appears that EMC correctly appreciates some of the not so obvious functions of datacenters, which provide not just a physical focal point for the IT infrastructure, but a central management role as well. We believe that the closed-loop approach of discover, comply, analyze, change, and automate is a logical approach for large and medium sized organizations that have the technical wherewithal to manage their own IT infrastructures.

From a market perspective we see EMC extending its grip on not just the datacenter, but as noted above, datacenter functions. We believe that configuration and change management can perhaps be looked at as a major hub of  IT Operations, ultimately affecting all components of the IT infrastructure. We also believe that integration with provisioning and IT inventory will emerge as a critical area for governance auditing. This acquisition is another means for EMC to increase their penetration in the service provider market in addition to enterprise. However, as with any acquisition, it remains to be seen whether EMC can smoothly integrate the products from a user perspective and whether the partners providing the professional services needed to install and maintain the software can also bring to bear the level of business acumen needed to ensure effective governance through transparent IT operations.

Trend Micro Enters DLP Fray by Acquiring Provilla

Trend Micro Incorporated has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Provilla, Inc., a provider of fingerprint-based intelligent endpoint solutions for data leak prevention (DLP) in organizations. Under the agreement, Provilla will operate as a subsidiary of Trend Micro’s U.S. affiliate. Provilla’s data leak prevention personnel and technology and products will enhance the Trend Micro portfolio of easily deployed and managed multi-layered content-security solutions for business customers. Provilla’s LeakProof product suite combines patented DataDNA fingerprinting technology with intelligent agents to help enterprises protect their intellectual property and confidential information and maintain regulatory compliance. The technology lets organizations know the exact locations of sensitive data for active and effective control. Provilla products also educate and sensitize end users to corporate policies and regulatory requirements. Trend Micro will continue to offer Provilla’s stand-alone products for the near term as well as gradually integrate Provilla’s capabilities into its own enterprise, small, and mid-size business solutions. Provilla products are deployed in North America, China, Taiwan, Europe, and Japan.

This is the second recent acquisition in the DLP space, coming on the heels of RSA’s acquisition of Tablus. As antivirus technology continues to spiral into the world of commodities and attacks become more targeted, sophisticated users are likely to look for more comprehensive solutions from the same vendor. End-user organizations are really concerned about the results, not necessarily the methods. Perhaps in time these same users will demand software as a service with service level agreements in place to incent vendors to perform.

Now that RSA and Trend have made their move, what can be expected from McAfee and Symantec? While it would be convenient to jump on the industry rumor-mill bandwagon and posit that Symantec will buy Vontu, we actually believe otherwise. Symantec is at a serious inflection point. Too much time has passed for the company to plead SYMC/VRTS integration issues, and the recent financial report combined with what appears to be a serious problem in bookings means to us that Symantec perhaps ought to be more concerned with correcting the product and support issues that have likely negatively impacted bookings in the enterprise space. Indeed, we believe that the term “content protection” should include safeguarding one’s own content as well protecting the IT infrastructure from malware, phishing, spam, etc. Absorbing new companies and their products has never been Big Yellow’s strong suit, although it’s our understanding that much of the Altiris marketing management has succeeded in supplanting survivors of the Veritas acquisition. It remains to be seen whether McAfee will follow a me-too approach and buy one of the remaining DLP vendors.

What does this all mean to the end-user community? In March we profiled Provilla’s agreement with BigFix and concluded by stating our belief that “combining detection, prevention, and remediation is a best practice for end-user organizations. However, this recommendation implies that end users have already gone through the exercises of classifying their information and establishing policies to safeguard each level of classification. This approach is necessary for good governance which reduces operational risk and demonstrates compliance as a by product of planning ahead and employing technology to enforce policies.” We stick by our guns and reiterate that technology is only one leg of the security triangle. Data loss prevention can only occur after organizations go through the data classification exercise and synergize their People and processes along with appropriate technology. Addressing only technology would be like passing out ice tongs on the Titanic.

IBM Enhances CDAT with New Toolset

IBM has announced the availability of a new analysis toolset designed to help IBM business partners identify opportunities for small businesses to consolidate and virtualize infrastructure resources to improve their IT economics. The Consolidation Discovery and Analysis Tool (CDAT) helps identify untapped utilization and hidden servers across a client’s network, and provides recommendations on how to consolidate and virtualize x86 resources in order to reduce IT cost by up to 60% and improving compute utilization up to 400%. CDAT has been expanded with the introduction of the Server Consolidation Made Simple toolset that certifies partners to provide evaluations to consolidate IT environments with fewer than fifty servers. An additional service, Server Consolidation Factory, provides a customized, client-ready server consolidation proposal for business partners that do not have trained solution developers in-house. Bundled pricing for the service starts at $500 per fifty servers, which the company notes is up to five times less expensive than competitive services.

Channel partners play an important role not only in the final delivery of technologies to customer’s hand, but equally if not more important, in educating end-user organizations as to the value and applicability of a given vendor’s technology as part of the customer’s IT and datacenter investments. While consolidation and virtualization are two terms that are handily bandied about the marketplace, for many organizations, especially in the smaller to midsized segments, assessing their current IT infrastructure to identify consolidation and virtualization opportunities is something that simply doesn’t happen due to limited inhouse resources to commit to the endeavor. For the channel partner, this is an excellent opportunity, yet the resource cost to manually assess a customer’s environment in the hopes of achieving a sale later can be difficult to justify. This is where tools such as the CDAT can play an important role in creating a win-win-win scenario for the vendor, channel partner, and customer.

For IBM, engaging with myriad channel partners can be rewarding at best, but challenging at worst. Being able to consistently deliver a compelling user message as well as partner value proposition requires effort and works best when demonstrations of benefits can be replicable and automated as much as possible. With CDAT, a channel partner can invest its time in its relationship with the customer, providing the educational and trust-building aspects with knowledge that the demonstration and assessment can be delivered quickly from toolkit backed by the vendor. Further, the Server Consolidation Factory takes this a step further to simplify the proposal creation process and speed to market a partner’s bid for its customers. The overall reduction in time and effort required by the channel partner may act as a considerable enticement to keep the partner focused on consolidation and virtualization opportunities. Given that 70%+ of IBM’s virtualization engagements have come through the channel, this is very important for Big Blue as it seeks to drive its virtualization solutions into the marketplace while continuing to entice its partners to stick with the company in this competitive segment of the market.  Overall, we believe CDAT and similar tools are an essential part of a successful channel strategy and are further illustration of IBM’s continued focus on the mid market and the partners through whom IBM’s maximizes its economic opportunity in this space.

The Sageza Group, Inc.

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