RealTime IT News

Cisco to Resell Opsware Software

Data-center management specialist Opsware got a lift today, securing a multi-million-dollar distribution agreement with Cisco Systems.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cisco will distribute Opsware's Network Automation System (NAS) software under the Cisco brand through its worldwide direct sales force and channel partners. Opsware and Cisco's network management technology unit will also create products built on Opsware's NAS software.

Opsware's NAS software takes care of tasks that normally would be performed by a technical staff member, including change detection and management, configuration management, provisioning and compliance management. NAS does this in real time, with the ability to scale to thousands of devices.

Freeing up extra IT hands is increasingly becoming a popular goal for companies with small IT staffs, making software that can save businesses time and money an attractive value proposition.

This drive for automated IT operations is fueled by the belief that manual maintenance is becoming an impractical option because of the glut of servers and devices that exist in some corporations.

"This agreement marks the most strategic partnership we have signed and represents a major expansion of Opsware's sales channel and market reach," said Opsware CEO Ben Horowitz on a conference call today.

"Our Network Automation System will bring advanced network automation capabilities to Cisco's customer base, enabling them to lower the cost of network management."

Horowitz said Cisco is experiencing strong customer demand for automated management of networks. Moreover, he said this could seed the market for Opsware's server automation software.

Opsware will ride Cisco's credibility and customer relationships in the data center automation market, which Horowitz said is an $8 billion market opportunity.

Cisco will couple NAS with its own Network Application Performance Analysis solution, which helps customers automate configuration management across complex IT gear.