Loudcloud Targets the Enterprise

“The five-year cocktail party is over, and there are a lot of companies out there with a hangover,” Loudcloud president, CEO and co-founder Ben Horowitz announced Tuesday.

Horowitz was speaking to a crowd of reporters, analysts, and partners at a press event in New York announcing Loudcloud’s new strategy to take on enterprise customers, unveiling its Opsware 2i technology, which allows Loudcloud to operate inside a customer’s own datacenter, its Integration Smart Cloud service and partnerships with consultants Accenture and iFormation.

The theme of the cocktail party was time-to-market, characterized by excess – excess people, excess capacity and excess projects, Horowitz said. But rather than painting a bleak picture and leaving it at that, Horowitz outlined a three-step road to recovery – prioritize projects, focus on what’s strategic to the business, and optimize existing resources.

“Companies need to say, ‘If it doesn’t make or save us money in the short term, we’re not going to do it.’ When they do that, they usually find that eight out of 10 saved are Internet projects,” Horowitz said. When a company focuses, they see that they don’t want to have their people becoming experts at Storage Area Networks or other non-core business functions and when they look to optimize, they see that they may have redundant operations running multiple internet efforts that would save them money if they could consolidate and share resources, he said.

This course of action would be led, of course, by Loudcloud, beginning with its Opsware 2i technology.

Opsware 2i is the latest version of Loudcloud’s Opsware Automation Technology, and the first version able to be installed inside a customer’s own datacenter. Previous versions work inside Loudcloud’s leased datacenter space housed at Exodus, Equinix and AT&T. By eliminating the costs of migrating servers to Loudcloud’s datacenters, Horowitz said that the company has expanded its potential customer base tenfold.

Opsware automation technology captures and manages via software the thousands of pieces of information, decisions and processes required to deploy, manage and grow an Internet infrastructure. This technology automates and streamlines formerly manual tasks, offering Loudcloud customers quality, scale and speed in their Internet operations.

Opsware 2i technology will work through a combination of software and services. When a customer signs up for Opsware 2i technology, Loudcloud deploys an Opsware “core” inside the customer’s data center. This is the software automation engine that Loudcloud will operate to deploy, manage, maintain, and scale the customer’s Internet business. Once installed, Opsware technology interfaces with specific pieces of the customer’s software and networking infrastructure. From there, Loudcloud engineers are able to deploy, manage, monitor, and dynamically scale the Internet site through the Loudcloud Network Operations Center.

Through its partnerships with Accenture and iFormation Group, Loudcloud is making it easier for Fortune 1000 companies to choose the Opsware 2i solution, Horowitz said. “Accenture is the single best company to go into a Fortune 1000 company and optimize what they’re doing. iFormation is about optimizing existing assets that are different than the business they’re in – if they’re looking to transform their business, the iFormation/Loudcloud combination is the answer,” he said.

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