BMC has acquired Emprisa Networks for its network device configuration technology.

The company said that it would use the Emprisa products to augment its IT process automation and business service management suites. For example, as part of a larger announcement around BMC's Service Automation software suite, the company introduced its Configuration Automation for Networks application, which is based on Emprisa's E-NetAware technology and couples it with BMC's other recent purchase, RealOps' Automation Management Platform.

"We have had partnership activities with them for some time and the technology is a really good fit for our customers," says Herb Van Hook, BMC vice president of business planning. "Emprisa technology is able to look at the network devices as though they are supporting some business services and is able to deal with them holistically as though they are part of a business service."

Industry watchers say the buy will give BMC the network expertise it needs to deliver on its business service management vision. BSM promises to manage the underlying IT infrastructure in such a way that it best supports critical applications and business services. And to do that, BMC needs a view into the network.

"Business services involve software, servers, networks and storage so if you want to control the configuration and capacity of your business services you need to have 'knobs' for each infrastructure area," says Jasmine Noel, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel and Associates. Emprisa gives them the control knob for networks, which BMC didn't have before."

"All the tasks that need to be completed for IT service management start in a different area of operations, and what has been lacking is an orchestration layer that links those different functions across those silos and something that understands the sequence in which they have to be done," says Rich Ptak, founder and principal of Ptak, Noel and Associates.

BMC did not disclose financial details of the deal that involves BMC acquiring Emprisa and its network change and configuration technology, E-NetAware.

Emprisa competes with the likes of AlterPoint, Intelliden and Voyence - as well as Opsware's Rendition Networks technology (now part of HP) - with software that automates the time-consuming and error-prone process of collecting network device configuration information and keeping a data repository updated as changes occur.