HP Enhances Utility Data Center

Opsware partnership enables application metering, software automation

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) last week touted a new partnership with Opsware, a purveyor of software that facilitates data center management and provisioning. HP will tap Opsware to enhance its Utility Data Center (UDC) offering.

Opsware has something of a confusing pedigree. The company—originally known as Loudcloud—recently changed its name and shifted the focus of its core competency away from managed Internet hosting and toward data center management. Opsware (nee Loudcloud) was founded by former Netscape Communications Corp. wunderkind Marc Andreessen.

HP says that as a result of the new partnership, UDC, which can automate the management and provisioning of hardware resources across HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows, will also be able to perform application metering along with software automation—such as the installation of software patches, for example.

Opsware develops data center management and automation software that enables granular software provisioning and patching, along with application deployment and rollback services. The two companies say that as customers use UDC to make real-time changes to virtual environments, the Opsware software will be able to track the changes and automate software operations.

Both UDC and the Opsware software are available separately today, but HP says it hopes to produce a combined package by the end of 2003. The company also says its professional services unit will provide Opsware-focused services programs.

HP was first out of the gate with UDC, its seminal infrastructures for utility computing, a concept that describes the virtualization of computing resources—such as storage, servers and networks—to increase performance, lower costs, and enhance manageability. HP first announced UDC in November 2001—slightly less than a year before IBM unwrapped E-business On Demand. Sun first disclosed its plans for N1 in February 2002.

Since then, HP has further fleshed out its utility computing strategy, introducing Adaptive Enterprise, a combination of new and existing products and services that provide an infrastructure for so-called “on demand” computing. The goal, said HP CEO Carly Fiorina during the Adaptive Enterprise launch festivities in early June, is to help customers wring more efficiency out of their IT infrastructures.

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About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.