In addition to the Intelliden acquisition, the other big IBM Tivoli acquisition this year was BigFix. IBM announced the completion of the acquisition last month. And just this week, IBM announced that BigFix “now displays all virtual and physical assets—PCs , laptops, servers, point-of-sale and virtualized devices—in a single place.”
I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the BigFix team in the last few months as they join the IBM family. While discussing his podcast series, Beyond the Perimeter, I took the opportunity to interview Amrit Williams, CTO of BigFix.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about BigFix?
Amrit: BigFix is a leading global provider of
high-performance systems and security management software for enterprise
companies. The BigFix unified management platform provides real-time visibility
and control through a single infrastructure, single agent and single console
for systems life cycle management, endpoint protection, security configuration
and vulnerability management.
BigFix is based on a revolutionary architecture that distributes management intelligence and responsibility directly to the computing devices themselves. This architecture makes BigFix radically faster, more accurate, scalable, and more adaptive than traditional management solutions.
BigFix solutions enable customers to securely manage their global IT infrastructures faster, more accurately, resulting in improved governance, control, visibility and business agility.
Question: Why did IBM acquire BigFix? How does it fit into IBM’s product portfolio?
Amrit: IBM and BigFix are a great fit. The product portfolios are very complementary, the strategy and vision are well aligned and the companies’ respective values and focus will drive greater innovation to the market
Product and market synergies
--BigFix offers best in class endpoint management (PCs, laptops, and distributed servers) that extends the IBM portfolio, enabling their smarter computing vision from the data center to endpoints anywhere in the world.
--Our product portfolios are very complementary, as demonstrated by the many joint customers we successfully serve today.
Strategy and vision
--IBM intends to continue to evolve the rich capabilities of the BigFix platform and to innovate, integrate, and expand the combined solutions to address a broader set of market requirements than ever before.
Company values and market focus
--We share similar ideals and value around integrity and innovation.
--We both have a workforce that is provisioned and dedicated to solving the problems of the largest and most sophisticated enterprise environments in the world.
BigFix is part of the
Question: Can you explain how BigFix is different from other vendors in the market?
Conventional solutions rely on highly complex servers that must be in constant communication with numerous endpoint agents, receiving configuration and state data and transmitting instructions and content. This resource-intensive, high-overhead approach is not acceptable in today’s highly distributed, occasionally connected endpoint environment. The BigFix Unified Management Platform relies on a single intelligent agent that acts autonomously based on policies distributed asynchronously, wherever endpoints happen to be, on virtually any network, over virtually any link. When an endpoint drifts out of compliance with policy, the BigFix agent automatically and immediately remediates the issue, ensuring continuous compliance—even if the endpoint is not connected to a corporate network.
The BigFix Unified Management Platform provides 18 IT management solutions, including security configuration and vulnerability management, using a single server, console and agent. BigFix is highly scalable, with a single server managing up to 250,000 endpoints, and works on a wide variety of platforms including Windows, Mac, UNIX, Linux and virtual operating systems. Competitive solutions require multiple agents per endpoint, scores of servers, and incur total costs of ownership orders of magnitude higher than BigFix.
BigFix also provides what is considered high-performance systems and security management. These high-performance attributes include:
- Blazing Speed: Real-time control to effect change of thousands of granular computer properties 100 times faster than competing technologies
- Extreme Productivity: Full control of all computing assets performing the work of multiple administrators using legacy solutions
- Pervasive Visibility and Control: Up-to-the-minute visibility of the most granular computer properties across our entire computing infrastructure
- Massive Scalability: A single BigFix server can manage over 250,000 computing devices - more than 20 times that of traditional, legacy solutions
- Revolutionary Economics: A single infrastructure, single console, single agent architecture combined with the ability to address multiple domains provides the lowest TCO in the industry
Question: What benefits can customers expect from the acquisition?
Amrit: In addition to what has already been mentioned, customers should expect to see BigFix integrate with a wide set of IBM solutions. The benefit from a highly integrated set of technologies that enable an organization to become more efficient, improve productivity and lower costs will help organizations rationalize disparate technologies through convergence, consolidation and automation, enabling focus on higher value activities.