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Commentary: HP gains from Opsware inside

A deal between the two companies lends huge credibility to Opsware's capabilities. Its code will enhance the Utility Data Center package that HP has developed.

    Commentary: HP gains from Opsware inside
    By Forrester Research
    Special to CNET
    June 2, 2003, 12:20PM PT

    By Frank E. Gillett, Principal Analyst

    Hewlett-Packard has signed a nonexclusive deal to integrate Opsware into its Utility Data Center and become an authorized partner. The deal boosts Opsware's profile as a leading independent "organic IT" vendor--and strengthens HP's offering.

    Web services, rapid server provisioning, storage virtualization and network route-optimization technologies will cast servers, storage and network links into a new data center architecture that Forrester calls organic IT--centralized control over commodity infrastructure assets.

    We spoke with Opsware's chief technical officer, Tim Howes, and HP's director of utility computing, Nick van der Zweep, to get the details. Our take? The deal lends huge credibility to Opsware's capabilities--the company's code will enhance UDC code that HP had developed. What happens next?

    • Buyers should have more confidence in Opsware. Opsware was the only vendor that Forrester named as a leader in both platform and application provisioning. But some buyers remain reluctant to buy from small tech vendors. This deal should put buyers' fears to rest on both the efficacy and viability of Opsware's technology.

    • But they should push back on the entry price. Forrester has recently spoken with two Opsware prospects who are interested in the company's product capabilities but are put off by the price--up

    Related story

    Opsware's software will be integrated
    with HP's Utility Data Center package.

    to $900 per server. Both have decided to skip Opsware in favor of solutions like Microsoft's Automated Deployment Services or IBM's Director. Forrester believes that Opsware must create an entry-level offering--and soon.

    • HP strengthens its organic IT offerings. The tech giant narrowly leads IBM as a full-service provider of products and services for organic IT. The Opsware deal further boosts the strength of the UDC offering and bolsters HP's intention to provide heterogeneous organic IT capabilities.

    • But ultimately it needs Opsware's capabilities in-house. This deal doesn't fill HP's need for integrated automation spanning Intel and reduced instruction set computer (RISC)-based servers. Forrester believes that this partnership is a trial balloon to be followed by an Opsware acquisition--and full product integration--next year.

    © 2003, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change.