SAS 5.1 Eases Compliance

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2005-05-23

Opsware Inc. has launched a revamped version of its Opsware Server Automation System that takes aim at the high cost of managing complex server provisioning and configuration changes and at automating regulatory and policy compliance tasks.

Opsware SAS Release 5.1 is designed to help IT better align operations spending with spending on new applications by automating more of the process of discovering and deploying management agents to servers and automating the steps required to comply with regulations and best-practices policies.

"People are only spending 30 percent of IT budgets developing new applications, and 70 percent on maintaining existing capabilities. The driver of our business today is to help people [reverse that ratio]," said Tim Howes, chief technology officer of the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.

The more diverse a server environment is, the more costly it can be to maintain. That fact, coupled with wanting to keep servers in compliance with R&D requirements at Cadence Design Systems Inc., of San Jose, Calif., led IT staffers to look to migrate to SAS Release 5.1.

"We were much more interested in the consistency and compliance with what our R&D groups required. Opsware gives us that consistency," said Cadence Senior IT Architect Lew Newby, in Zanesville, Ohio. "Its easier for the IT department to manage an environment thats the same than it is to manage 50 different operating systems."

Opsware streamlined SAS implementation through Opsware ExpressAutomation, a new feature set that reduces the server discovery and management agent deployment phase from days to hours, according to Opswares Howes. With ExpressAutomation, users provide the system with a range of IP addresses, and the system pings nodes on the network, gathering a list of what it finds during the scanning process. The system then determines which of several methods—including SSH (Secure Shell) and Telnet—can be used to deploy agents to the servers it discovered. The system then sends out and installs the agent, and the agent comes up and registers with the Opsware core, said Howes.

With its new Compliance Automation feature set, Opsware SAS automated multiple steps in server and application compliance, including auditing and remediation to a compliance center that provides out-of-the-box reports.

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