HP's Mercury Buy Boosts SOA Play

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-07-25 Print this article Print

HP's acquisition of Mercury Interactive gives the systems maker a lift in the SOA governance arena, and pits it directly against IBM.

Hewlett-Packard's $4.5 billion deal to acquire Mercury Interactive is the right fit for service-oriented architecture, analysts said.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., announced the deal on July 25. HP officials said the move combines HP's OpenView systems, network and IT service management software with Mercury's capabilities in application management, application delivery, IT governance and SOA governance.

"It's a big deal," said Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's Technology Solutions Group, of the company's new SOA capabilities. "We had rudimentary SOA management capabilities, but one of the things we love is the SOA management aspect and the application management we get with Mercury. That was a very significant consideration in this. It was something we needed."

Industry observers said this deal is a clear sign that SOA governance is now a major part of the management stack.

Ronald Schmelzer, a Baltimore-based analyst with ZapThink, said the HP acquisition of Mercury makes it "clear that governance and the registry are becoming a key part of companies' enterprise architectures, so much so that it makes sense to incorporate those capabilities as part of the overall enterprise systems management and infrastructure that companies come to depend on today."

In particular, SOA is driving many companies to adopt common strategies for governance and management in a world of increasing heterogeneity, Schmelzer said.

Moreover, Schmelzer said that for HP to continue to play in the enterprise system management and enterprise architecture space, they need to have a strong story around governance and heterogeneous systems management.

"The purchase of Mercury goes a long way to meeting these specific requirements because they recently purchased Systinet and they have significant capabilities for SOA governance, registry and repository, and policy management," he said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: HP's Mercury Buy Boosts SOA Play

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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