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VMware acquires ANOTHER management company, Shavlik

VMware’s acquisition spree continues today with Shavlik Technologies.

Shavlik is VMware’s partner in VMware Go, a service designed to help SMBs deploy and manage virtualization more quickly and easily. The 18-year-old company built its business around security, with a focus on patch management. (Shavlik’s technology helps power VMware Update Manager, for example.)

The Shavlik acquisition makes sense given VMware’s new focus on the applications market. After all, it wouldn’t do VMware much good to buy Zimbra and SlideRocket without having some way to easily update and patch those applications. And Shavlik was the natural choice, thanks to its existing partnerships with VMware on Go, Update Manager and other initiatives.

But it sounds like Shavlik will also play a role in VMware’s increasingly complicated infrastructure management strategy.

“Our patch, compliance and end-point security and other expertise will of course continue to be a strong area of value for our customers and for market differentiation,” CEO Mark Shavlik wrote. “We will continue to build on these areas as well as our on-premise solutions as we move forward in enabling SMBs to manage core IT functions through a single pane of glass, centralizing asset management, security, business continuity and data protection capabilities, in addition to other areas.”

So VMware has all its individual vCenter products, and then there’s vCenter Operations, which combines the features of a few vCenter products with some of the Integrien and EMC Ionix technologies that VMware acquired last year, oh and don’t forget the vShield security line, and now Shavlik is in the mix too. Got that?

As I’ve written before, users say there are “too many management products that cost too much money.” And competitors recognize it too; a Citrix partner I talked to last week for a XenServer 6.0 story said VMware is now “bloated with features.”

It’s all well and good for VMware to acquire companies whose technologies and services can add something to its management portfolio, and Shavlik definitely falls into that category. But if VMware can’t sensibly integrate these offerings and tell a cohesive management story, it will only frustrate users even more.

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