Opsware Hopes For Two-Part Harmony With Rendition Acquisition

The addition of the privately held company, based in Redmond, Wash., adds network device management capabilities to Opsware's server automation technology. The combination will help customers automate even more of their data center infrastructure, said Tim Howes, CTO of the Sunnyvale, Calif., software vendor.

Network automation is a small but fast-growing market consisting mainly of startups such as Rendition and Intelliden, of Colorado Springs, Colo., said Rendition CTO Erik Johnson. "This is an emerging market," Johnson said. "The network side is lagging the server side, but it is exploding."

By combining Rendition's network virtualization technology with its own, Opsware for the first time brings network, server and software assets together in such a way that they can be tied to business requirements, said Howes.

For example, Howes said that if a server administrator wants to add capacity and applications to servers, she typically would not know how such a move would affect her company's business. The Rendition technology, in contrast, shows that impact even as it automates the processes and balances loads, said Howes.

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The Rendition technology also can help companies adjust resources for compliance reasons, Howes said. Today, changes to an IT infrastructure for compliance reasons are typically done one device at a time.

"Going forward, someone can look at compliance, not as individual devices, but as higher applications or services," he said. "For example, if you have a finance application with 278 servers and devices, you need to know how all devices are impacted by compliance."

The $33 million deal includes $15 million cash and nearly 2.7 million shares of Opsware stock. It is expected to close by February.