EMC Resurrects BMC Patrol

Companies plan to integrate Patrol and application-centric storage management capabilities in ControlCenter.

When BMC Software Corp. announced plans in mid-February to discontinue its Patrol Storage Manager (PSM) product, PSM customers—about 50 of them—probably felt a lot like that Tom Hanks character in the film Castaway. As it turns out, PSM customers have been marooned for less than five months.

Salvation came last week in the form of EMC Corp., which signed an agreement with BMC to purchase the rights to PSM for an undisclosed sum.

In return, BMC will resell EMC’s line of ControlCenter storage management products. This arrangement makes Houston, TX-based BMC EMC’s first software-only solution provider.

“The partnership with BMC marks our first reseller arrangement with an independent software provider to market EMC ControlCenter as their storage resource management offering on an exclusive basis,” confirmed EMC president and CEO Joe Tucci in a statement.

In contrast to competitive offerings, which typically emphasized storage resource management (SRM)—that is, managing storage from the perspective of storage—BMC with PSM stressed an approach that it called application-centric storage management (ACSM), which describes the practice of managing storage from the perspective of application performance.

Over the last 12 months, EMC has tried to shift its focus with ControlCenter away from SRM and toward ACSM. The Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor in November hired Chris Gahagan, VP of BMC’s storage management business unit.

Not surprisingly, the two companies have disclosed plans to integrate PSM and its ACSM capabilities with ControlCenter.

To that end, EMC announced that it will support BMC Software by providing maintenance service and support to all current PSM customers. BMC, for its part, will offer existing PSM customers equivalent ControlCenter licenses as a migration path from the discontinued product.

The deal is the second such partnership for EMC in the last three months. In April, EMC snapped up Astrum Software Corp., a privately held purveyor of SRM software for mid-tier environments. Astrum developed products optimized for automated file management, file-level reporting, and capacity utilization in small- and medium-sized networked storage environments.

Arun Taneja, a consulting analyst with storage consultancy Taneja Group, sees the deal as a win for both BMC and EMC, as well as a redemption of sorts for orphaned PSM customers.

“Once you recognize the environment around it, this is probably good for both of those companies, and equally importantly for their customers,” he speculates. “BMC didn’t want their own customers to be abandoned, so by making this deal with EMC, what they’re ensuring is that their customers who purchased the BMC Patrol product actually are taken care of in the future. EMC gets access to additional software and BMC’s customers. They get a company like BMC to start selling their product line.”

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About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.