Opsware To Buy Storage Automation Company


Opsware Tuesday moved to offer a complete data center automation product line with the upcoming acquisition of storage automation vendor Creekpath Systems.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Opsware currently offers technology to automate such server functions as server discovery, provisioning, patch management, and troubleshooting, as well as to automate such network functions as device discovery, change management, and policy-based compliance management.

With the addition of technology from Boulder, Colo.-based Creekpath, Opsware gains technology to automate storage allocation according to application requirements, including the ability to map dependencies from application to server to storage and to manage storage utilization according to server and application requirements, said Fharmila Shahani, Opsware chief marketing officer.

"We've been in the business of providing server and network automation," Shahani said. "Storage is the third leg of the stool for data center automation. Creekpath gives us the foundation of storage automation."

The Creekpath technology addresses storage management as it relates to application management, Shahani said. While other vendors such as EMC and Hitachi Data Systems focus on storage device management, they do not address the tie between storage and other parts of the data center infrastructure, she said.

"For application management, a number of storage-specific things have not been addressed," Shahani said. "For example, when you monitor an application for compliance, you need to monitor the entire data center infrastructure. And if you change a server, you traditionally need to change the storage devices manually. We want to automate this."

Shahani said Opsware and Creekpath crossed paths about two years ago, but it was a common customer, Lehman Brothers, that brought the two together. "They gave us a lot of input on how the two technologies can come together," she said.

Creekpath currently has eight active customers, down from a peak of 20 customers, which will be gradually transitioned to Opsware's version of the storage automation software as it becomes available. Shahani said Opsware plans to close Creekpath's Boulder, Colo., office and retain 10 of the company's engineers. Another 20 Creekpath employees will not be brought into Opsware, she said.

About 20 percent of Opsware's revenue comes from channel partners. However, Shahani said that the indirect portion of the company's business will grow thanks to a reseller agreement it recently signed with Cisco under which that vendor will sell Opsware software through its direct and indirect channels.

The Creekpath acquisition is expected to close within 30 days.