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May 4, 2021
The addition of Turbonomic to the growing IBM AIOps stack promises to add depth to its IT automation offerings. IBM’s recent agreement to acquire Turbonomic seeks to broaden Big Blue’s AI-based, IT automation management capabilities.
IBM hasn’t said how much it’s paying for Turbonomic, but the deal is reportedly worth more than $1.5 billion. Look for the transaction to close later this quarter.
Turbonomic builds on the IBM AIOps portfolio, which includes Instana, an application performance monitoring (APM) provider, which IBM acquired in November. The company last month also said it has agreed to acquire myInvenio, a provider of robotic process automation (RPA) software.
The Turbonomic acquisition adds another layer of automation with its application resource management (ARM) and network performance management (NPM) software. IBM said Turbonomic will extend its ability to offer AIOps, which uses AI-based IT automation, to maximize cost-performance.
IBM plans to integrate the ARM capabilities of Turbonomic with Big Blue’s Instana application performance management (APM) solution. In addition, IBM will integrate Turbonomic with its new Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps.
Collectively, Turbonomic, Watson AIOps and Instana will ensure optimal application response times without intervention from IT administrators, according to IBM. Dinesh Nirmal, IBM’s general manager for cloud automation, noted that Turbonomic balances an organization’s entire IT inventory.
Turbonomic monitors the inventory servers, storage, networks, VMs, databases and containers, as well as all applications and public cloud resources.
“Through increased visibility, insights and automated actions from ARM, organizations can prevent problems and minimize troubleshooting, helping their employees reclaim up to 50% of their time to focus on what matters most,” according to a post published by Nirmal.
Daniel Newman, CEO of IT researcher Futurum Research, said there’s growing demand for AIOps.
Futurum Research’s Daniel Newman
“There’s significant interest in tools that can effectively manage, streamline, provide automation to, self-heal, or improve the process of fixing problems proactively,” Newman said. “The whole idea with AIOps and AI capabilities, is as these networks get more intelligent, they get quicker at identifying issues. For a company like IBM, it’s layering this on with many of the other services [it’s] providing, and it’s just another stream of revenue.”
Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King agreed.
Pund-IT’s Charles King
“IBM has a history of improving data center processes and cost efficiencies through means, including enhanced application and network management,” King said. “The planned purchase of Turbonomic compliments IBM’s efforts to date in these areas and should strengthen the data center and IT infrastructure management portfolio.”
IBM’s expanded push into AIOps comes as growing number of players are adding AI-based automation including Cisco-AppDynamics, Splunk, Datadog, Micro Focus, BigPanda, Moogsoft and PagerDuty. Large service providers including AWS, Microsoft, Google and ServiceNow also have emphasized new AIOps capabilities.
“With the sprawl of applications in the infrastructure that companies have, there’s a big demand for this kind of capability,” Newman said. “And so, IBM is seeing the opportunity and they’re seizing it, and they’re growing it. It’ll be determined when they start to build up and provide us more visibility on the data side, in terms of revenues, margins, growth and adoption as to how successful it is. But it’s an area that we’re definitely seeing an increase in interest.”
While the deal is yet to close, Turbonomic had already begun integrating its solution with Red Hat OpenShift. Turbonomic had also tied with Instana’s APM well before IBM acquired Instana back in November.
Turbonomic was also appealing to IBM because many telcos and service providers use its ARM and NRM platform. Also, IBM said Turbonomic will help as 5G adoption expands and customers use it for more workloads at the edge.
Another Turbonomic offering that IBM gains from the deal is ParkMyCloud, a cost optimization tool. Customers that use public cloud services for development and test use ParkMyCloud to monitor and reduce those public cloud costs.
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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