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BMC updates CMDB software in down economy

BMC updated its Remedy Service Management suite and Atrium CMDB, but users are leery of jumping into a long-term CMDB deployment in this down economy.

This week BMC updated its configuration management database (CMDB) software and Remedy Service Management software with new features, including improved lifecycle management for software and OS image licensing.

Getting set up in a [configuration management database] is a long, expensive process.

Michael Coté,
analyst, RedMonk

But the Houston, Texas-based BMC Software Inc., a systems management giant, may find this is a tough market for CMDB software,'s recent IT economy survey data shows IT shops have cut back on CMDB spending in this down economy.

CMDBs a nice-to-have

More than half of the nearly 250-plus survey respondents said they are less likely to spend on systems management tools in this economy. When asked which systems management tool they are least likely to spend against, the largest amount of respondents (21%) said CMDB software.

"CMDB technologies may only qualify as a nice to have and thus get bumped so funds can be used elsewhere for business sustainability," said Greg Schultz of the Storage IO Group. "The rationale may be that IT resources are currently being managed without a CMDB and that approach can continue to be used for the time being."

Michael Coté of RedMonk, an IT research firm in Seattle, Wash., agreed. "Getting set up in a CMDB is a long, expensive process. The benefits kick in long term:better decision making power over your IT. In a climate where you read about layoffs every day, no one in the IT department thinks long term: their focus is on making short-term wins that justify their job and the overall IT budget," Coté said. "If the ax man comes around and asks for your status, and you tell them you're six months into an 18-month ITIL[IT Infrastructure Library]/CMDB/BSM [business services management] project, things start to look grim.

"It's better to have immediate, here-and-now cost savings or, even better, revenue generating projects to report on. Large-scale IT projects, like CMDBs, are like flossing: if you're smart enough to know that you should do them, you'll have more teeth in later years. But how many people floss each day? Not many," Coté said.

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Vick Vaishnavi, BMC's vice president of marketing said he understands the hesitance to buy into CMDB projects now. "When I was an IT manager, I was always hesitant when someone sold me on a CMDB. I didn't have time to sit and maintain it."

But he argued that BMC's Atrium CMDB is highly automated, and thus doesn't need a lot of the care and feeding associated with these kinds of projects. Plus, Atrium already ships with a lot of the BMC suites.

"There is no such thing as a CMDB market," Vaishnavi said. "Companies buying Remedy ITSM [IT service management] or our automation tools get the Atrium CMDB with it. It's part and parcel of the project. We haven't really seen a slowdown."

BMC's updated ITSM Remedy 7.5 suite includes an enhanced asset management system, tracking inventory of applications and OS images. If a company buys 100 copies of a particular software license, this feature shows how many licenses of a particular application are deployed, where they are deployed and how many are in inventory.

BMC also added a new "release management" feature to its change management software. The release management feature tries to bundle multiple changes into a single release while ensuring that they don't collide with other changes, reducing the testing time of new configurations.

The Atrium 7.5 update features improved autodiscovery and dependency mapping features, BMC said.

Matt Stansberry is the executive editor of Write to him at

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