Opsware to Buy Rendition Networks for $33 Million

The combined offering will provide automated network device configuration.

Opsware Inc. Thursday filled in a missing piece of the automated configuration management puzzle when it announced its pact to acquire multivendor network configuration management provider Rendition Networks Inc.

The deal, valued at $33 million, will bring much needed automation of network device configuration to Opswares stable of server and application configuration and change management software.

"When we integrate our product, itll change the game in our market. It will allow people to look at their infrastructure not as a bunch of servers and network devices, but as applications or business services," said Tim Howes, chief technology officer at Opsware, in Sunnyvale, Calif.

"In the shift to a Web architecture, applications are no longer a single piece of software that runs on a server. It is a composite of many different servers and software and switches and load balancers that all have to work together," he said.

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Initial integration of the Opsware software and Rendition Networks TrueControl offering will come by mid-2005, Howes said. That integration will yield unified audit and compliance reporting. More sophisticated integration will follow later in the year.

In the meantime, Opsware will continue to sell TrueControl as well as Opsware as standalone offerings. TrueControl tracks and controls changes in real time to routers, switches, firewalls and load balancers for improved insight into network changes.

Although the acquisition will fill in pieces of the utility computing puzzle, the combined offering is targeted at users looking for "audit and compliance reporting, automation, quality control and cost reduction," Howes said.

Although Opsware evaluated other startups for this component of its strategy, Rendition Networks "was the clear technology leader," Howes said. Rendition Networks competes with Alterpoint Inc., Voyence Inc., and Intelliden Corp.

Rendition Networks CTO Eric Johnson will remain with the company and oversee the Rendition side of the integration effort from the Redmond, Wash., facility, which will remain in place.

Rendition Networks also brings some 30 enterprise customers to the table.

The deal, which is expected to close by mid-February, will not result in any layoffs, company officials said.

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