Opsware Enhances Data Center Automation Software

Opsware announces enhancements and add-ons for its data center automation software.

Opsware Inc., now that it has shed its Loudcloud name with the closing of its deal with Electronic Data Systems Inc., is beating the drum for its data center automation software with a flurry of enhancements and add-ons.

Last week, after closing a sale with the U.S. Department of Energy, Opsware announced the ability of its namesake software to simultaneously manage application server provisioning and configuration management across multiple data centers.

The new MultiMaster Service Automation Module option for Opsware System 3, one of 67 SAMs, is aimed at large IT shops with multiple data centers running Solaris-, Linux- and Windows-based servers. The MultiMaster SAM provides consistency of management across the data centers and provides a blueprint for quickly replicating server configurations in a disaster, according to Tim Howe, chief technology officer for the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.

"You also get the ability to manage applications transparently across data centers. If you have a primary application running at one site and a backup of it at another, Opsware lets you manage it as a single application," he added.

Outside of costly disaster recovery services, "people worry about the data, but they dont have anything to recover the system the data has to go on [in the event of a disaster]," said Corey Ferengul, an analyst with Meta Group Inc. in Chicago. "There is a lot of knowledge tied up in the configuration of the servers. People lose sight of that."

Because the MultiMaster SAM can replicate application server environments, it can automatically rebuild the applications, configuration settings, patches, installation order and other information required for a server in another data center.

As Opsware looks to build its business and presence as a systems management software supplier, it is likely to continue to market a series of enhancements to the Opsware System 3 platform, said Ferengul.

"They want to make as much noise about their product offerings as they did about their services offering. They want to be a large deal type vendor, and that requires a name people recognize and a level of confidence."

The vendor is off to a good start, securing EDS as its first name-brand customer with a commitment to spend $52 million over three years to license Opsware.