I asked Todd DeLaughter, CEO for run-book automation (RBA) software maker Opalis, for the skinny on this; Opalis partners closely with BMC and makes an integration pack to work with BMC's Patrol package.
No CEO likes to talk acquisitions, particularly when they helm a small startup in a hot, rising space such as RBA, which is essentially an emerging market for IT process automation. DeLaughter, who left the cozy confines of HP to steer Opalis, was no exception.
"That's obviously not something I want to comment on," DeLaughter told me in a meeting here.
"But what I've seen is that in the six months I've been in the role is that a general discussion with a customer about IT process automation is interesting, but when you can start to align IT process automation with existing management vendors in their environment -- like a BMC, VMware, or a BladeLogic -- that helps extend the value proposition of those companies. If consolidation happens, that will take care of itself, and I don't know what those combinations look like."
Interesting that he mentioned those vendors in particular. How's this for a chess move? BMC takes Opalis and Oracle takes BMC. Is that a checkmate for IBM, HP and CA? Food for thought.
Coolest cooling technology
The award for coolest cooling technology at the event goes to SprayCool. Yes, that's really the company's name.
Forged 20 years ago to help cool such military machines as tanks, SprayCool differs greatly from the liquid cooling options such as IBM's Cool Blue, HP's Dynamic Smart Cooling or Sun's Blackbox.
Patchen Noelke, SprayCool's director of marketing, showed me a datacenter rack full of Sun, IBM, Dell and HP blade servers with tubes running to and from the processor unit.
One tube literally sprays the processor with a coolant, then sucks the liquid out and vaporizes it on the way back to heat exchange where it's used it all over again. This unusual method reduces 30 percent to 40 percent of the heat emanating from the rack.
So while IBM, Sun and HP all cool the air around servers, SprayCool opts for in-chassis cooling, landing it a spot in Gartner's datacenter cooling and power management quadrant, said Gartner analyst Michael Bell in his session here Tuesday.
"It actually sprays a non-conductive fluid right onto the processor. You might think that's insane, but you have to see it to believe it," said Bell, clearly awed by the approach.
"Hot liquid then goes down through a heat transfer unit at the bottom of the rack, which is served by chilled liquid. That chilled liquid is then recycled back and sprayed on the chips."
What's really interesting is that you don't have to retrofit your servers to accommodate SprayCool. Because of this, Bell and SprayCool's Noelke said original equipment manufacturers, such as IBM, Sun, HP and Dell could add this technology to their machines.
Dell would be the most likely candidate to do this because it doesn't really have a power and cooling technology to rest its head on. IBM, Sun and HP might be less inclined because they offer their own methods of cooling datacenter racks.
Dell could significantly boost its power and cooling credibility by snapping up SprayCool. It would also help restore some of company's luster. But it better not wait; somebody will buy this company, because there is nothing else like it.