VMware sells off Shavlik patch management to LANDesk

Virtualization giant to focus on three priorities: software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, and end-user computing

Instead of being on the acquisition side of a buying spree, VMware seems to have flipped the tables and is now selling off technologies.

Earlier this month, the virtualization giant announced it had sold off its Protect line of patch and asset management software acquired through the purchase of Shavlik Technologies back in May 2011. VMware unloaded this product line to LANDesk, a provider of IT management, security, mobility and services, owned by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC.

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VMware and Shavlik have a long history, going back to 2006 when the two companies first partnered. Back then, VMware was looking for a way to help provide its upcoming Virtual Infrastructure 3.1 release with a better way to manage patches of its ESX host servers and its guest operating systems. The two worked closely to create a new VirtualCenter module called Update Manager, a module to provide virtual administrators the ability to decide which patches to install on their Microsoft Windows guest OSes and to identify which patches were needed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

In 2009, the companies came together again to create the free Web-based Go service, which VMware previewed in August 2009 and delivered the following January. VMware Go let users virtualize their servers with a few simple mouse clicks and provided an easy on-ramp to companies new to virtualization. The free service worked to bring VMware ESXi hypervisors under management and provided basic performance and resource management for the VMs.

At the time of the original acquisition announcement, VMware said the two companies would build upon those joint successes and continue to provide management services for small to medium-sized businesses, including centralized IT management services, simplified deployment and automation, and automated IT management.

Fast-forward to April 2013 and VMware is now bidding farewell to Shavlik. But VMware isn't apologizing to those who question why the company spent money to acquire Shavlik only to turn around and sell it off. There is a reason for this departure. According to Ramin Sayar, vice president and general manager of cloud infrastructure and management at VMware, the sale maps to VMware's strategy to execute against its three main priorities: the software-defined data center, the hybrid cloud, and end-user computing.

"As part of our efforts to focus on these areas, we came to the conclusion that asset and patch management as a stand-alone offering would be best provided by a partner such as LANDesk," stated Sayar. "It was important to VMware to find a buyer that would be a good home for Protect customers, and we believe LANDesk is a great fit. In transitioning the Shavlik Protect product family to LANDesk, we are confident that customers will be in good hands with seamless product support and further technology innovation."

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