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BMC Software acquires Phurnace, enhances Java app deployment automation

Systems management software vendor BMC Software this month announced its acquisition of Phurnace Software, a provider of tools for automated Java application deployment, for an undisclosed sum.

Phurnace has built its business, in part, by addressing a problem that a 2009 Hurwitz & Associates report found to be a fairly significant source of downtime in Java-based web applications: configuration errors. The report, The Sources of Web Application Downtime, contains results from 249 surveyed companies. The average company said it spent $850,000 on creating, maintaining and supporting application deployment scripts.

As applications are updated over time, configuration settings have a way of drifting away from the original baseline.

“Configuration drift happens when you have an original script written for a specific web application and someone modifies it, and then someone else and so on,” said Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz & Associates. “Then it’s drifted from the original script to the point where it introduces problems.”

Problems can include downtime to fix errors or increased support necessary to get the configurations in sync.

The report was commissioned by Phurnace and did show only 23% of companies see configuration drift as an important problem. Hurwitz said often companies often have a tough time admitting their problems and may not even realize the usefulness of managing deployment scripts.

Phurnace’s flagship product, Phurnace Deliver, manages the configuration of multiple Java EE applications and application servers, providing previews of new changes and a centralized management utility.

Moving forward, BMC will roll Phurnace technology into its BladeLogic Application Release Automation product. BladeLogic works to automate many of the processes involved in configuring and automating the release of web applications.

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