Intelliden Snapped Up by IBM for Network Management
March 1, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM doesn’t have a homegrown networking hardware business, and has been pretty careful to not tick off Cisco Systems, positioning itself as a kind of Switzerland in IT networking, even as Cisco jumps into servers, which is more than a bit annoying to IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and now Oracle.
But just because IBM wants to sell any and every major networking product and spread its partnerships across Cisco, Brocade Communications, Blade Network Technologies, Juniper Networks, Voltaire, and Mellanox Technologies does not mean Big Blue does not have its own networking aspirations (or might not go on a buying spree if it thinks Cisco or HP, which have their own networking hardware businesses).
And that is one reason why IBM has acquired Intelliden, which has created a set of tools to automatically manage the configuration and tweaking of routers, hubs, and switches. One of the most interesting products coming out of Intelliden is a service called iAudit, which runs on cloud infrastructure and checks the settings on networking gear as compared to the best practices guidelines of vendors, alerting network managers where they are not up to snuff.
Companies are interested in more than audits, says IBM, but also managing network configuration and the patching of network devices from a central location, since 60 percent of network outages are apparently caused by people not setting or resetting some device properly.
Intelliden was founded 10 years ago in Colorado Springs, Colorado, by come network gurus from MCI Communications (the phone company that was the nemesis of AT&T and that was merged into WorldCom of dot-com bust and malfeasance fame). Intelliden is now based in Menlo Park, California. The firm has received in excess of $70 million in venture capital and has 70 employees, who find themselves now getting an IBM paycheck and working for the Tivoli systems management division within IBM’s Software Group. It won’t be long before we see some rebranding and product announcements.
The financial details of the Intelliden acquisition were not disclosed.