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Today, we announced the acquisition of the assets of Tek-Tools, a leader in the Storage Resource Management (SRM) market.  Obviously, this signals our belief that the same approach we have used in the network management space will also work in another area of IT infrastructure.  Namely, to provide powerful, affordable, easy-to-use solutions to the IT pros who deal with the daily pain of keeping the business going.  Just like the network management space, the storage management market has existing solutions from vendors not named SolarWinds, but many of them are expensive, hard to use, and not as multi-vendor friendly as they should be.  We think we can make that picture better for thousands of storage management teams worldwide, and do it quickly.  

But the part that gets us the most excited about Tek-Tools is the growing convergence of storage with the network, and with virtualized computing infrastructures.  We've heard loud and clear that it's not good enough just to look at one or two pieces of the picture in these virtualized environments.  You need the entire picture of performance.  Look at Cisco's UCS platform - that's multiple types of infrastructure in a single system.  Who wants to use different tools to manage the performance of that?  Now, I know that's just one example, and it's certainly not a mainstream solution yet - but it's an example of wherevirtualization will take IT environments.  Technology interdependence, higher management complexity, IT silos broken down.

We see that future, and hear the customer pain points, and we believe this acquisition gives us the technology to respond.  Let us know what you think!

For what seems like 20 years, IT industry analysts, pundits, vendors and CIOs have been advertising the coming “unification of IT”-  breaking down the silos of traditional enterprise IT infrastructure and teams: systems, apps, networks and storage. Despite all this talk and all the supposed agents of change, from processes (see ITIL), to centralized technology (see CMDBs) to philosophies (see “Business-aligned IT”), nothing’s really driven a truck through those silo walls. But, virtualization may finally change that.

As virtualization moves from the test lab to the data-center or server room of almost every sized business, IT teams can’t help but first decry -- then deal with -- the fact that lines of responsibility, visibility, and control are blurred by this technology. Servers can move from one host to another, from one network port or device to another, taking their traffic and security needs with them. Server teams now depend on the storage team to guarantee I/O and space requirements from newly networked storage. The storage team may require security & bandwidth policies from the network team. It’s all inter-related – really (not virtually).

This confusion forces those folks to talk – to determine how they are going to plan for and execute changes (ITIL), and how they are going to track all these pieces (CMDB), so that they can collectively deliver the great value to the business that virtualization promises (Business- aligned IT). Those parenthetical themes may owe their growth to virtualization, when it’s all said and done.

For sure, it’s been hyped. “Virtualization changes everything!” they say at conference after conference. Lots of agendas are attached to those claims, but of all the hyped facets of this technology wave, from rapid development and server cost savings, to energy-reductions and cloud computing, virtualization’s lasting legacy could be the role it plays in making network, server and storage teams talk to each other without a pointed finger between them.

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