BMC has announced that they have bought Coradiant, the leader in web applications performance management. Coradiant specialized in helping IT organizations understand the performance (response time) of their business critical and performance critical web applications. This allows IT organizations to be proactive in the management of the infrastructure supporting these applications leading to fewer brownouts and outages.One of the interesting aspects of the performance management business for virtualization and the cloud is how passive and silent the “Big 4” have been on the front of stepping up to how applications should be performance managed in these new environments. CA, IBM, BMC, and HP all have products that they acquired years ago that manage web/java/.net/SQL applications in production. However these products have not kept up with the pace in innovation that they new companies in this space (New Relic, AppDynamics, dynaTrace, BlueStripe, AppFirst, and Coradiant have set).
This acquisition of Coradiant by BMC means that at least one of the big four has woken up on the APM front. CA has previously made two acquisitions on the monitoring front; Nimsoft was acquired because Nimsoft produced a tightly integrated solution that was successfully sold to service providers and SME’s, and NetQos was acquired because its network performance management technology created an infrastructure performance management solution for CA in the form of CA Virtual Performance.
However until this acquisition by BMC, the big four have been silent on the APM front. This acquisition by BMC puts BMC in a leadership position at the web layer of the applications stack. BMC still has to fill a giant hole in its product line at the Java, .NET and SQL layers of the stack – and do so in a way that is relevant for virtualized and cloud hosted applications. The obvious concern here is that if all that BMC does is integrate Coraidant into its legacy Business Service Management stack, as is alluded to in the announcement, then all BMC will have done is modernize one component of a framework that is completely unsuited for virtualization and the cloud.
We have written on numerous times and occasions that carrying legacy systems management frameworks forward into virtualized and cloud environments is a bad idea and that it will not work. Legacy frameworks are too complicated, too brittle, and cannot adapt to the pace of change in dynamic environments. For these reasons they should not be brought forward into virtualized environments. Rather what enterprises should do is construct a best of breed “stack of monitoring solutions, as was discussed in, “Constructing a Best of Breed Alternative to VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise“.