25 Infrastructure Software Vendors You Need To Know
Infrastructure Software, Meet The Channel
With all the hoopla about Software-as-a-Service apps and mobile computing, it’s easy to forget that infrastructure software—everything from operating systems to middleware to databases—remains the foundation of every IT department and is critical for the operation of nearly every business. The worldwide market for operating system software alone grew 7.8 percent in 2010 to $30.4 billion, according to market researcher Gartner, while worldwide sales of application infrastructure and middleware software increased 7.3 percent to $17.6 billion.
Picking the top 25 infrastructure software vendors isn’t easy. We’ve focused on suppliers of the foundational technologies mentioned above and the tools for managing them. The list is dominated by such big names as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft. While it would be impossible for solution providers to partner with all—or even many of them—here’s the list of the industry players with whom they need to be familiar.
With the April acquisition of Novell and its broad range of products, from SUSE Linux to systems management tools to asset management software, Attachmate has become a major player in the infrastructure software arena.
The $2.1 billion BMC has long been a mainstay in providing a range of database, IT asset and application management tools. BMC recently acquired the Information Management System (IMS) mainframe database products from Neon Systems.
While Brocade may be best known for networking hardware, it’s also a key supplier of SAN fabric applications and network management software. Its new Brocade CloudPlex architecture moves IT resources to what it calls the ’virtual enterprise.’
Launched in 2004, Canonical offers Ubuntu, a free distribution of the Linux open-source operating system that runs on servers, desktops and laptops. Canonical provides a range of commercial services around Ubuntu.
Formerly Computer Associates and then just ’CA,’ CA Technologies offers IT management products that reach across both mainframe and distributed IT environments, and is expanding into cloud computing management.
The bulk of Cisco’s business is hardware products like routers and switches. But the giant vendor is also a software company, from its IOS and NX-OS software to its WebEx online meeting system to its voice and unified communications.
Citrix dived into the virtualization arena when it acquired XenSource in 2007. Today Citrix offers a range of server and desktop virtualization software. Its NetScaler toolset helps with application optimization, load balancing and Web application acceleration.
Since its acquisition of Gomez, Compuware has become a major supplier of Software-as-a-Service application performance monitoring software. It also has IT portfolio management, mainframe software management and application development products.
EMC is best known for its storage hardware such as Clariion and Symmetrix. But it also has infrastructure software, including backup and recovery, replication, data center automation, storage resource management and information governance software.
The world’s largest IT company, Hewlett- Packard offers a variety of IT management software, including data center and cloud service automation software and systems, network and application performance management tools.
IBM has expanded into applications but its heart has always been in the core infrastructure software that keeps data centers humming, everything from its DB2 and Informix databases to WebSphere IT integration and optimization software.
’Big Data’ or the huge volumes of data businesses are wrestling with today is the sweet spot for Informatica’s software tools for data management, integration, transformation, migration, synchronization and quality control.
Juniper Networks is best known for its routers, switches and other hardware products. But it also offers key software products, including its Junos network operating system, network management tools and router services software.
LANDesk Software provides a broad range of IT management software, including IT service management, systems lifecycle management, IT process management and IT asset management tools.
While Microsoft might be known for desktop software, it has many data center products, including the SQL Server database, Windows Azure cloud platform, .Net Framework, BizTalk Server and System Center systems management toolset.
The Oracle database remains the vendor’s flagship product, but it’s become a middleware powerhouse, thanks, in part, to such major acquisitions as BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems (Javarelated technologies) and Sunopsis.
Pervasive develops infrastructure software for managing data, including the Pervasive PSQL embedded database, data integration and data quality management tools, metadata management software and the DataRush platform.
Progress has become a force in the infrastructure realm with its broad product line, including software for enterprise messaging, SOA management, data caching and interoperability, business transaction assurance and BPM.
Quest offers software infrastructure products such as tools for database management, application performance monitoring and management, and system administration and automation. It is best known for its Toad database development software.
Red Hat established itself with its popular distribution of the Linux open-source operating system. But thanks to its June 2006 acquisition of JBoss, Red Hat has become a major player in the market for open-source middleware products.
SAP is best known for its ERP and CRM software. But it also offers infrastructure software, such as its NetWeaver application platform, in-memory computing technology, and its platform for developing and managing mobile applications, the last two via its Sybase acquisition.
Software AG, Germany’s second largest software company, provides enterprise architecture management, BPM and ESB technology. Its products include the WebMethods integration/ BPM/ESB platform and ARIS business process analysis system.
Yes, Symantec is first and foremost a supplier of security technology. But the company does field a comprehensive lineup of software for systems and storage management, risk and compliance management, business continuity and IT asset lifecycle management.
TIBCO is best known for its ActiveMatrix enterprise service bus technology. But the company also develops a wide selection of infrastructure software for complex event processing, data governance, BPM, SOA integration and governance, messaging and grid computing.
The leading supplier of virtualization technology is more than a one-trick pony. VMware provides a number of IT infrastructure and operations management products, including application management tools and data center administration automation software.