Sourced from Tier 1’s Insiter on 05/10/2006
Opsware makes subtle but significant shift towards total data center platform
Opsware [OPSW -#] announced a new real-time discovery and application mapping offering today called the Opsware Visual Application Manger. The offering extends discovery and topology capabilities in its SAS platform for application configuration and dependencies and extends these capabilities into a visualization model that is required for application configuration and change management. These capabilities are important as enterprises shift their paradigm of management silos of resources including networks, servers, and applicants to a more holistic approach of end-to-end services management. Initiatives such as business service management and ITIL are helping enterprises approach resource management more holistically and applications such as Opsware’s new Visual Application Manager that map dependencies and help in change control make this more efficient and effective approach to managing enterprise resources possible. More importantly, we see the Visual Application Manager eventually acting as a front end to the SAS and NAS product, providing an elegant way of integrating these two platform through a single control plane. In its initial release we do not see Opsware talking up this integration capability, but we can envision the company taking this approach longer-term.
Not alone in this market but better positioned than most We do note that Opsware is not alone in visualizing the application configuration process. To some extent both BMC [BMC] and Mercury [MERQ.PK] have some of this capabilities thorugh acquisition and both IBM [IBM] (recently acquired Collation) and Symantec [SYMC] (just picked up Relicore) offer a close comparison. Additionally, there are a number of private companies that offer visualization as a point solution including vendors such as Cendura, mValent, nLayers, Tideway Systems, and a few others. What makes Opsware fairly unique is 1) they have specialized in the discovery and configuration first before adding visualization (versus the other guys that do the visualization first – the easier part – and try to move into the configuration) and 2) Opsware’s solution was organically developed versus cobbled together and still largely unintegrated like the competitors. Visualization alone offers limited value, but when combined as part of a larger change automation process through a CMDB, then it adds nice additional value. By adding this capability Opsware compares more favorably against BMC and Symantec (probably the closest in functionality though again we point out to the better integration at OPSW) and stands out against its traditional competitor Bladelogic.