HP and Opsware forge UDC partnership

Moving forward with its Adaptive Enterprise strategy, Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Opsware, which will give HP customers integrated access to Opsware software.

The partnership combines the Utility Data Centre (UDC) -- HP’s answer to on-demand computing -- with Opsware’s data center automation software, resulting in what the companies call a utility computing solution that virtualizes computing resources, meters applications and automates software reducing the overhead costs of running an enterprise data centre.

"Companies are still struggling to clean up the mess of the Internet boom," said Marc Andreessen, chairman of Opsware during a teleconference. "They now have to manage enormous infrastructures…and have had to increase IT staffing. (Research has shown) that 70 percent of IT budgets go to labor and headcount. With the integrated solution HP and Opsware are providing, customers will be able to lower data centre costs by 50 percent."

Opsware, formerly Loudcloud Inc., offers automated provisioning, deployment, change, scaling, security, recovery and server reallocation through its Opsware System suite. The HP UDC offers virtualization of computing resources including networking, servers, storage, operating systems as well as application provisioning in heterogeneous environments. Together, the combined offering will reduce enterprise IT operating costs and initial application deployment times.

"Our offerings are extremely well-aligned," said Nick Van der Sweep, director of Utility Computing for HP. "The UDC offers rapid deployment of applications, while Opsware software does the fine-grained software configuration, and also handles the continued maintenance of software applications."

Van der Sweep explained that the newly forged partnership is a three-fold deal. While the two companies are working together in R&D to integrate Opsware software with the HP UDC, HP will also become a distributor of Opsware software, enabling HP UDC customers to purchase Opsware software with UDC products. Through the deal, HP Services will also become an Opsware-authorized partner, offering HP customers Opsware-related services including workshops, ROI analyses, installation and deployment services, in addition to ongoing management and administration of the Opsware System.

HP’s UDC and Opsware’s System software are available now, and the companies said they are working on a combined package with further integration of the two due out later this year. .

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