Can SCUPdates survive VMware's Shavlik buy?

Though many IT shops use products from both VMware and Shavlik Technologies, some worry that VMware may not care to keep SCUPdates, a third-party patch tool that extends SCCM.

ATLANTA -- Though many Windows shops use Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager to patch servers, they also rely on specialized patching products and technologies from third parties, such as Shavlik Technologies.

With VMware’s acquisition of Shavlik earlier this week, some Windows managers wonder if one of Shavlik’s unique technologies, SCUPdates (System Center Updates Publisher), will survive the VMware-Microsoft rivalry.

SCUPdates is a patch catalog that lets IT shops update third-party servers through System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). It works through the SCCM workflow so there isn’t any extra work on the part of system administrators. SCCM will update a Microsoft product, but SCUPdates can deliver updates for software like Adobe Acrobat or Citrix Presentation Server, which is something Microsoft does not do.

Shavlik released the product just over one year ago and has an annual subscription fee that ranges from $3 to $8 per device, depending on volumes.

Shavlik executives said that SCUPdates continues to be an important part of the portfolio, and that the VMware acquisition will only provide more distribution opportunities. “There is a lot of crossover between VMware and Microsoft customers and I believe this is an opportunity to make the product even bigger,” said Jason Tober, vice president of sales and business development at Shavlik, which is based in New Brighton, Minn.

Tober said he believes there will be “no change at all,” but of course anything is possible.

The VMware acquisition of Shavlik is expected to close this quarter. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Plenty of IT shops use both VMware and Shavlik products. Because the two companies don’t compete head to head, there is little concern about seeing any hiccups in the development of virtual server patching tools. One IT manager said he thinks there may be an opportunity to cut his licensing costs. “We have a big spend with VMware and a medium spend with Shavlik that we will try to renegotiate,” said Dennis Scales, an IT manager with a financial services firm based in Jacksonville, Fla.

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