IBM announced Thursday that it plans to buy systems management software vendor BigFix. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, were not provided.
BigFix's platform includes a range of modules for areas such as patch management, security configurations and power management.
The software's workload is distributed over all devices under management, and a special query language BigFix developed minimizes performance hits to the machines under management, according to its Web site.
IBM's move ups the competitive stakes between itself and the industry's other big players in data center automation: Hewlett-Packard, BMC and CA Technologies.
Although IBM's Tivoli IT management software line is already sizable, BigFix's technology should still be additive, according to one observer.
"Nowadays, IBM can have surprising holes in its portfolio when it comes to desktop management and automation," said Redmonk analyst Michael Cot
"The kind of 'model your desired and compliant configuration and then enforce it' stuff that BigFix does aligns well with existing Tivoli customers," Cot
Privately held BigFix has roughly 200 employees and more than 700 customers. It will be rolled into IBM's Software Group.
IBM is expected to discuss the acquisition further during a conference call Thursday.