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MMS 2013 Diary: LANDesk acquires Shavlik from VMware

by Lawrence Garvin, WSUS MVP

Day One of MMS 2013 is now “in the can”. No great shell shockers coming from the first day… well except one. The afternoon session of the Expo Hall had come and gone, and I left the booth a bit late, and as I rounded the corner from our booth I noticed that the LANDesk Software booth – which had been right behind us – was no longer there, and a new booth was being put it its place. Intriguing, no doubt.

When I returned at 5:00pm for the Welcome Reception, imagine my astonishment when I saw right before my eyes a Shavlik booth! Shucks, I said to myself, I thought Shavlik had come and gone with the VMWare acquisition in 2011. (Some of you may remember it was Day One of TechED NA 2011 when VMWare announced their acquisition of Shavlik.)

This morning, a press release found its way into the world breaking the news …. LANDesk has purchased the entire vCenter product portfolio from VMWare. I suppose it’s no great surprise that VMWare divested its Shavlik-acquired products. (It was just last month they surprisingly killed off VMWare Go Pro.) VMWare seems to be in the process of reorganizing and consolidating back to their core business focus, and that will be very good for virtualization customers.

But LANDesk?! For starters, LANDesk already has a Patch Management product, subscription based, and somewhat on the expensive side. It’s also generally not considered a big player in the patch management landscape. (Well, let’s say that when I talk to people about patch management, I rarely hear “LANDesk” mentioned as a solution in deployment, or being considered.)

So, maybe this is a step up for LANDesk. They get a patch management product with a rich customer base, and perhaps a solid patch management product for their portfolio. Plus, certainly, they get a door open into the Configuration Manager landscape, where previously LANDesk Patch Manager was but merely a minor competitor.

But I’ll still ask the same question I asked three years ago…. What does this mean for all of those vendors who built their patch management products on top of the Shavlik engine? They’re likely all LANDesk competitors. How will existing vCenter customers (who stuck with the product after the VMWare acquisition) feel about working with LANDesk?

Other questions of intrigue: What about the few LANDesk Patch Manager customers? Does LANDesk continue to develop two different patch management engines, or will LANDesk customers get forced into the Shavlik pipeline? Some of the answers may be between-the-lines in the LANDesk Shavlik FAQ.

Maybe, in the end, nothing really changes at all. For Configuration Manager customers, there are additional options in the third-party patch management landscape, including SolarWinds Patch Manager. For those who don’t use a Microsoft stack (WSUS/ConfigMgr) for patching their Windows systems, it’s just one of another dozen options.

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