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HP, Opsware to join forces on data center

Hewlett-Packard plans to partner with Marc Andreessen's Opsware (the former Loudcloud) to push a high-end resource-management package based on its Utility Data Center.

Aiming to boost its products for managing large corporate data centers, Hewlett-Packard plans on Monday to announce a partnership with Opsware, the Marc Andreessen-led software maker formerly known as Loudcloud.


Opsware's code will enhance HP's
Utility Data Center package.

As part of the deal, Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP will integrate Opsware's software with Utility Data Center (UDC), its utility computing package with which companies can view a pool of shared computing and storage resources as a single entity, quickly shifting resources from one task to another.

While HP's existing UDC hardware and software package is able to automate the management of physical resources such as servers and storage, Opsware's software can help automate things like making changes to an application, such as installing a software patch.

The partnership came about because both HP and Opsware target a similar market with complementary products, said Nick van der Zweep, HP's director of utility computing.

Although HP's Utility Data Center and Opsware's software are both available now, the two companies will work to more tightly integrate the two, with a combined package available for purchase from HP by the end of the year. HP's UDC sales force will also sell Opsware's software as part of the pact, and HP's services unit will also be authorized to provide Opsware-related consulting services.

Neither company would say how much money it is investing in the partnership, nor would either say how many employees will be devoted to integrating the products. Opsware's software will still be optional for UDC customers, who can elect to use their own code to manage applications.

Opsware, which until last year was known as Loudcloud, initially focused on Internet hosting. Last year, however, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company switched gears and decided to concentrate its efforts on its software for managing applications in a data center. In June, it sold the Net hosting business to EDS for $63.5 million and adopted the Opsware moniker.