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Opsware Grows Network Automation Family

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Jun 14, 2006


Opsware this week unveiled Opsware System 6, the company's integrated family of products designed to provide comprehensive data center automation.

With the release of Opsware Server Automation System 6, the network management vendor ties together the data center in the System 6 product family.

Opsware Server Automation System 6 joins Opsware Network Automation System 6, Opsware Visual Application Manager, and the Opsware Network security service in the Opsware System 6 product family.

Because applications are distributed across the enterprise, and geographic boundaries and frequently span hundreds of servers, software components, network devices and storage systems, managing them manually is often a foolhardy (and time consuming) endeavor.

Hence, the Opsware System 6 product family, which automates aspects of deploying and managing applications throughout the ecosystem, and provides IT administrators with a unified picture of an application's complete presence within the enterprise.

The release of Opsware Server Automation System 6 goes a long way toward making this possible. While previous Opsware products focused on the network side, Opsware Server Automation System, as it's name implies, focuses on the server. When combined with other products in Server Automation System, the management functionality ties the infrastructure together.

Opsware Server Automation System 6 includes audit and auto-remediation across the full range of server and software configurations; software management capabilities to enable the deployment and configuration management of complex, multitiered applications; and integration with Opsware Network Automation System 6 to provide visibility into dependencies between servers and network devices, automatically resolve network-server configuration mismatches, and share change history information for quick isolation of application problems.

Opsware Server Automation System 6 also features a Compliance Dashboard for 10,000-foot at-a-glance visibility into server, software, and application configuration and regulatory compliance. Enterprises can add their own parameters and use this functionality for remediation or internal audits, Sharmila Shahani, Opsware executive vice president of marketing, told ServerWatch.

Opsware Server Automation System 6 also contains a Policy Framework to enable best practices to be captured and standards to be set across software, patches, and application configurations.

The three other major components in Opsware System 6 are Opsware Network Automation System, Opsware Visual Application Manager, and the Opsware Network.

Opsware Network Automation System tackles network change and configuration management whose main role is to prevent noncompliant changes from being propagated into the network environment. The Network Compliance Model alerts admins via devices, policies, interdependencies, and user roles when a nonpermissible change is being made. The admin can elect to allow the change to go through if so desired, Shahani said.

Opsware Network Automation System also features a Multimaster & Satellite module, which allows the propagation of a change over the entire network, Shahani said. It is ideal for global policy enforcement and disaster recovery for distributed data centers, she added.

Opsware Visual Application Manager is a new discovery and application mapping product that renders a complete visual picture of all servers, software, and network elements and their interdependencies. With this visual interactive map of the network, admins can zero in on what needs to be changed and make modifications while in this view.

Finally, the Opsware Network, a subscription service that provides ongoing updates of security alerts and compliance policies, has been expanded to work with the Opsware Server Automation System. Until now, the service covered only network devices managed by the Opsware Network Automation System.

Opsware Server Automation System 6 will be available for shipping in July. It will be priced at $1,200 per server.

Other components in the Opsware System 6 product family are available now. The Opsware Network Automation System 6 is $20,000 per 100 nodes; Visual Application Manager is $100,000 for 1,000 nodes ($100 per node); and the Opsware Network is 8 percent of license fees.

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