HP and Opsware Tie Management Knot

UDC to gain software automation functions.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Opsware Inc. are entering into a new partnership that brings software automation functions to HPs Utility Data Center, officials of the companies said.

The partnership fills a missing software operations management piece in HPs UDC puzzle with automated and more detailed software provisioning, software patching, and updates, as well as application deployment and configuration rollback. In addition to integrating Opswares software automation technology with UDCs Utility Controller virtualization engine, the deal calls for HPs Services group to help users deploy Opsware software as an authorized partner. HP will distribute the software through its UDC sales force, according to David Kelleher, manager of HP UDC, in Cupertino, Calif.

"With Opsware, we build on our base automation [or] the ability to load the first instance of an operating system or application. With Opsware, we can automate more than that," said Kelleher.

"UDC lets you move resources around and get an initial operating system installed, but if you want to [make a] change—to apply a patch or change a configuration or deploy a new version of an application or roll out custom content—you can use Opsware," said Tim Howes, chief technology officer at Opsware, in Sunnyvale, Calif. "The benefit is reduced costs and increased quality and consistency."

Competitively, the partnership helps HP keep pace with IBM in its autonomic computing initiative. IBM recently filled in its strategy with the acquisition of Think Dynamics, of Toronto.

The HP deal also gives Opsware a boost—beyond its relationship with Electronic Data Systems Corp.—to "play with the big boys" in the rush to deliver more streamlined and less expensive computing, said Corey Ferengul, a Meta Group Inc. analyst, in Chicago.

The integration plans call for Opsware agents to be provisioned by HPs Utility Controller. "The Utility Controller communicates with Opsware throughout the life of the infrastructure so that if a machine fails and gets replaced or another machine is added, Opsware is aware of that and can take appropriate action," said Howes. "So the two systems start off in sync and keep that view in sync as changes are made."

The integration is expected to be completed by years end, when HP will begin to resell Opsware. HP and Opsware will train hundreds of HP Services consultants on Opsware in North America, Kelleher said.