Opsware announces Network Automation System 4.0


On 7 Mar 05, Opsware (the company formerly known as Loudcloud, which Marc Andreessen founded after he left Netscape) announced that its Opsware Network Automation System 4.0 would be available beginning 21 Mar 05.

Interesting tidbits from the press release:

  • "The Opsware Network Automation System is based on Rendition Networks' award-winning TrueControl product, which Opsware acquired in February 2005."
  • "Opsware NAS 4.0 moves beyond simple network change and configuration management to offer complete network automation including change automation, compliance management, process automation, security administration and reporting around all these operational activities."
  • "Opsware NAS 4.0 includes key automation capabilities ... such as the ability to automate processes that span different IT groups and systems and an advanced Compliance Center for compliance management. ... The Compliance Center includes automated auditing and reporting for Sarbanes-Oxley, ITIL, HIPAA and COBIT."

Internetnews.com has an article by Jim Wagner entitled Opsware Tackles Network Automation which goes into more detail about the product, and future plans for it. Key excerpts from the article:

  • "Today's announcement is the first phase of a three-phase integration roadmap, and it comes three months after the Sunnyvale, Calif., company bought the technology with its $33 million acquisition of Rendition Networks."
  • "In addition to automated network changes, the Opsware software includes:

    • A compliance center to measure and enforce any changes to the network that violate information-handling standards like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or COBIT; the software also creates automated reports based on those standards;
    • a workflow and approvals tool to create customized approval processes, as well as reports and notifications to go with those custom processes;
    • the Access Control List manager automates security management, with access to machines based on privileges and the ability to automate responses to network attacks like worms"

  • "Phase two, expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2005, will introduce integrated workflow processes to manage changes across network device, server and software components, as well as a central data warehouse to retain all change history and asset information."
  • "Phase three will focus on a unified programming model and business service management and is expected to be completed the second quarter of 2006."

There's another article by Paula Musich in eWeek entitled Opsware Launches Rendition's Network Automation System; key excerpts:

  • "The multivendor automated configuration management software, renamed Network Automation System, is not yet integrated with Opsware Inc.'s data center automation software."
  • "In developing the new Compliance Center in NAS 4.0, Opsware (Rendition) worked with Deloitte & Touche to address auditors' requirements and bridge the gap between auditors and technical operations personnel. The Compliance Center allows users to understand what it means at the network level to be compliant with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA."
  • "Opsware has developed an integration roadmap for NAS and its flagship Opsware data center automation software."

    • "Beginning in the second quarter, Opsware will provide automated discovery of servers, software and network devices as well as unified reporting on assets, operations and compliance."
    • "In the second integration phase in the fourth quarter, Opsware will add an integrated workflow to control changes across servers and network devices; a central data warehouse of asset data, configurations and change history; links between user interfaces in each console; and a topology map of the application environment."
    • "Next year Opsware in its third integration phase will provide a unified programming model and address business service management."

Another article, by Paul Travis, is available from CompliancePipeline, entitled Opsware Unveils Network-Automation Suite. Interesting excerpts from that one:

  • "Pricing starts at $20,000 for 50 network nodes."
  • "Companies such as Countrywide Financial, Microsoft, and T-Mobile are using the Network Automation System, Opsware says."

    • "Countrywide uses the software to automate the management of 6,000 network devices in 2,000 branch offices;"
    • "Microsoft uses it to manage 10,000 network devices in seven global data centers; and"
    • "T-Mobile uses the system to automate the management of 18,000 network devices in thousands of Wi-Fi hot-spots."

The day after announcing Opsware Network Automation System 4.0, Opsware also announced that the prior version (TrueControl 3.x by Rendition, which Opsware bought late last year) had won Network World's Best of the Tests Award in the Network Management category.

One of the principles that Opsware (as Loudcloud) was founded on was that automation would provide them with a competitive advantage, so they've certainly been thinking about and working on this stuff for quite a while (relatively speaking!).


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This page contains a single entry by Brent Chapman published on March 17, 2005 3:46 PM.

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