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Novell to purchase Managed Objects – A New Player in BSM & IT Management?

This afternoon Novell announced it’s intent to acquire Managed Objects, an “independent,” if you will, BSM vendor. Managed Objects’ main trade is in CMDBs and, of late, a Web 2.0 layers on-top of CMDBs, myCMDB (see demo above and overview as well).

Novell Starting Out IT Management Portfolio Build-out

I must admit that I don’t typically think of Novell and “IT Management” in the same sentence, or even paragraph. I’ve been more enamored of Moonlight and Mono over in Novell land. Indeed, as the two said when I talked with them this morning, there’s pretty much no technology overlap. Novell has identity management, desktop management, and of course SuSE Linux. Buying into the “top” of the IT Management stack then is an interesting and novel (ho-ho) move for Novell.

I asked Novell if they had plans to open source Managed Objects, to which they said, plainly, no. They are, they said, big on open standards, protocols, and connections, per their involvement with WS-Man, Microsoft, and friends.

Whither the Blinking Lights?

Aside from signaling a general interest in fleshing out their IT Management portfolio, this also points to the need for Novell to acquire a basic monitoring and event management platform or two. Regular readers here can easily fit in the short list of people I’d come up with: Zenoss, Hyperic, Groundwork, etc. There’s always purely using Nagios and OpenNMS as well.

Coming from the other angle, people like LogLogic are interesting, esp. given the identity management “backplane” Novell likes to talk about.

Of course, Novell itself could combine with another, larger company as well.


Competitively, RedHat is doing the same IT Management portfolio build-out, though their focus is currently more virtualization than anything else. There’s, of course, the incumbent Big 4 + Microsoft, the last of which is a Novell partner in this space already. Microsoft has some interesting times ahead when it comes to System Center, Novell, Citrix, and other IT Management partners. Microsoft is still working on their delayed service desk (and the associated ITIL/MOF stuff that goes with it, read: CMDB), but once that’s out, there’ll be a certain completeness to their IT Management portfolio.

When it comes to other “indepdent” BSM vendors, there’s also and, as IDG’s Chris Kanaracus reminded me (see his piece), there’s also Compuware and Firescope. I would leave it to BSM aficionado Doug McClure to dump a full list on your heads, dear readers.

Of course, a portfolio build-out takes time, as HP has shown over the recent past. The important thing though, is that Novell is clearly interested in broader IT Management, which is a big change from where they’ve been.

Categories: Open Source, Systems Management.

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4 Responses

  1. I have to say this acquisition does not seem to make any sense. What’s Novell to do with IT management? And ManagedObjects is not your run of the mill monitoring tool, etc., it’s a leader in BSM market. The question is how does this make sense for ManagedObjects? After all these years staying a bachelor, why now get hitched with such an underwhelming prospect? ManagedObjects was a private company so their finances are unknown. Has there been trouble? This was a company that weathered the previous market contraction in 2000-2002 period. Are things worse now?

    Another possible explanation is that verticalization of IT industry with soup to nuts software + services comp(IBM, HP) is taking its toll on the independents and it’s getting tougher/infeasible to compete the big guns. If so, this is not good news for the customers.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] discuss the recent finding in the wild of OpenNMS, maps and dashboards in IT Management platforms, Novell putting in plans to buy Managed Objects, CMDBf being demo’ed, and we get general updates on OpenNMS and Zenoss from Tarus and […]

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