EMC Corp. announced today that it will acquire the rights to BMC Software Inc.'s Patrol Storage Manager, taking over support for users of the defunct product as well as offering a transition for BMC customers to EMC's own Control Center storage resource management software.

EMC also hopes to provide tighter integration with BMC's other systems management software through a technology partnership that allows Houston-based BMC to resell the Control Center software, a deal that could give EMC as many as 5,000 new clients. The companies declined to say how much the deal is worth.

Steve Kenniston, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group in Milford, Mass., said BMC made a good choice in partnering with EMC because the company doesn't have to worry about competition on the application server market as it would have with potential partners IBM Corp. or Hewlett-Packard Co. "This way they get to work strictly with storage," he said.

Don Langeberg, director of marketing for storage software at HP, said his company considered buying Patrol Storage Manager but didn't see any added value from such a deal.

EMC also expects to achieve tighter integration with BMC's flagship Patrol Systems Management software, said Barry Ader, director of software product marketing at EMC.

BMC announced in February that it was halting further development of open-systems storage management products, leaving about 130 customers looking for new vendors. BMC's director of enterprise storage management, Dan Hoffmann, said only about 50 customers are now using Patrol Storage Manager.

Although BMC still sells storage management software for mainframe systems, it said economic pressures forced it to pull out of the open-systems market so it could spend resources on other product lines. It is ranked fourth in sales of storage management software behind IBM, EMC and Computer Associates International Inc.

Ader said EMC will evaluate Patrol Storage Manager and possibly incorporate some of the application interfaces into its own storage resource management software. For example, BMC's software supports Microsoft Exchange and Siebel environments, while EMC's Control Center product does not.

"I don't think we can make any commitment to use the code," Ader said.