Today's focus: Latest acquisitions by Citrix and IBM put
spotlight on applications

By Scott Crawford

As the year-end approaches, applications have become a dominant
focus of consolidation in IT. Two in particular captured our
attention here at Enterprise Management Associates in the week
before Thanksgiving: Citrix's acquisition of Teros, a leading vendor of
Web application security systems; and only one day later, IBM's
acquisition of Collation, a leader in application resource mapping.

These moves underscore the importance of composite and
distributed Web and enterprise applications as a central focus
of the convergence that is sweeping across multiple aspects of
IT. IBM's acquisition of Collation is only the latest in a
series of moves that Big Blue has made in order to secure its
future in a world that seems to be made to order for the IT
giant's strategic focus.

Beginning with the assembly of a group of assets from Cyanea
Candle  and Rational, IBM has increasingly turned up the heat on its application
integration and management assets in order to strengthen a
position already well centered on the WebSphere family.

What Collation brings to this mix is the ability to map the
relationships, dependencies and dynamics among all the many
assets and individual applications that are used to deliver
Services in the enterprise. Of course this will be especially
useful in understanding the complex nature of composite
enterprise applications. This is complementary to IBM's
offerings such as IBM Tivoli Composite Application Management
, Tivoli Provisioning Manager, and especially to the new Change and
Configuration Manager (CCMDB) which is the central point of
IBM's IT Service Management portfolio. This will not only
reinforce IBM's ability to manage composite applications, but
also provide immediate visibility into packaged and business
applications, and help deliver federated enterprise resource
infomation in support of its IT Service Management strategy.

As with previous trends that have focused on the potential of
the Web, today's ambitious application initiatives are teeming
with optimism - an optimism that cloaks a host of risks in
application integration that have yet to be fully understood by
IT practitioners, but which are being vigorously exploited by
increasingly mercenary attackers. As a result, the security of
Web applications is quickly coming to the fore.

This was emphasized by Citrix' acquisition of Teros, a leader in
the emerging segment of Web application firewalls, only a day
before IBM's acquisition of Collation. As with IBM and its
sequence of application-centric deals, the Teros acquisition is
but the latest in a series of Citrix moves that are bringing it
into the mainstream of application delivery vendors.

These moves are not as big a stretch of the Citrix value
proposition as many seem to think. Citrix's strength has always
been in the ability to enable applications to four-wheel-drive
over any delivery terrain. With the increasing centrality of the
Web to application delivery, it is only natural that Citrix
would seek to stake out an ownership lead in the Web and
enterprise application space. Hence Citrix's acquisition of
NetScaler earlier this year, which echoes the significance
attached to the networking of applications reflected in both
Cisco's Application-Oriented Networking initiative, as well as
in IBM's acquisition of DataPower for networking
service-oriented architectures.

With so many of the industry's leaders focusing on applications,
and with the convergence of so many different aspects of IT in
the application space, who knows what interesting alignments we
may see next - but they are sure to come, most likely sooner
rather than later.

To contact: Scott Crawford

Scott Crawford, CISSP, is a Senior Analyst focused on IT
security, systems and application management with Enterprise
Management Associates in Boulder, Colo., an analyst and market
research firm focusing exclusively on all aspects of enterprise
management systems and services. The former information security
chief for the International Data Centre of the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, Austria,
Crawford has also been a systems professional with the
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research as well as
Emerson, HP, and other organizations in both public and private
sectors. He can be reached at

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Copyright 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008