Once upon a time there was a company named Loudcloud. It was supposed to be a very important company because it was started by a very important technology visionary named Marc Andreessen. Marc assembled some other very important people, some big venture capital money and went out to tell everyone about why Loudcloud was the next big thing. But no one could understand what it was. Was the cloud a service provider cloud? Was it a cloud to manage other clouds? Why did anyone need a cloud to manage other clouds? Don’t clouds sort of self manage themselves based on the weather and winds?
Luckily for Andreessen and his investors, Marc realized that selling clouds even in Silicon Valley was a very iffy business. So, to his credit, he hired some new managers. Managers with metrics and data center management on their minds and in their spreadsheets. The company set about building a set of services and tools to manage data centers. Anyone in technology that has had any encounters with data centers knows that despite the appearance of structure and management, data centers are unchained beasts. The beast is always hungry and the main function of many data center administrators has been to throw servers, bandwidth and storage at the beast in hopes to satisfy an insatiable appetite for IT budget dollars.
Loudcloud abandoned its old name and became Opsware. Opsware was structured to provide data center management and along the way acquired Tangram, Rendition Networks and
CreekPath. And now, Opsware was been purchased for $1.6 Billion by Hewlett-Packard. This is a great acquisition for Hewlett-Packard which has gone from flashy and frivolous under Carly Fiorina to predictable and buttondown under Mark Hurd.