BMC management tool rides Amazon cloud

The new BSM platform aims to let companies manage resources from internal datacentres and Amazon's EC2 cloud services via a single console

BMC Software is tapping into Amazon Web Services for a new tool that will manage both in-house and cloud-based services through a single portal.

The new Business Service Management (BSM) platform, announced on Wednesday, will allow companies to dip into resources either from their own internal datacentres or from Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the software maker said. The platform will support pre-existing Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) as well as dynamic AMI creation.

The idea is to allow businesses to create hybrid infrastructures, where on-premise or cloud resources can be provisioned according to policy or need, said Herb van Hook, vice president of corporate strategy at BMC.

The technology can be added to BMC's Service Request portal, Atrium Orchestrator and BladeLogic Operations Manager on request, and the company will offer consulting on developing the appropriate workflows, he added.

BMC is already thinking about how to apply the technology to other cloud-based services, said van Hook.

"Nothing is definite, but we're definitely having conversations with customers about how to extend this stuff to Rackspace, AT&T and others," he said. "It's definitely where we're going to be, but I can't say whether it's something we'll develop or whether customers will develop that broker model for themselves."

Analysts said the announcement makes sense for both Amazon and BMC.

"For Amazon, this means someone is addressing the perceived issue that cloud is difficult to manage, while BMC is sending a strong signal to customers that it is building a track record in managing these next-generation computing infrastructures, like cloud or Cisco's USC," said Will Cappelli, vice president of research at Gartner Group.

However, the announcement is only the first step in that process, Cappelli added, noting that managing EC2 cloud-based resources is a relatively low priority for many organisations.

"This isn't going to cause a rush of customers to buy cloud, because it only impacts fairly low-level infrastructure, where there's relatively little risk involved," Cappelli said. "Where it's going to get interesting is as BMC begins to apply these ideas further up the chain, at the application level. That's the crucial part for most businesses."

BMC is likely working towards this kind of management tool, but it faces competition from the likes of IBM, CA and EMC, along with application specialists such as Keynote and Gomez, said David Bradshaw, a programme director with IDC.

"I think they're all moving in the same direction, and for customers, this stuff is most valuable when it's about applications and when it's about multiple cloud vendors. Amazon is an important cloud vendor, but it's not the only one," Bradshaw said.