Opsware to acquire Rendition Networks

Server mgmt. vendor adds network device configuration management technology to portfolio.


Opsware Thursday announced its plans to acquire network device configuration management vendor Rendition Networks in a cash and stock deal worth $33 million.

Opsware, a provider of automated server provisioning and management software, said in a conference call that the network device configuration management technology from Rendition Networks would round out its IT automation platform.

"The combination of Opsware with Rendition will enable customers to control and sync operation across the entire infrastructure. The technologies will enable real-time change detection, policy compliance management on servers, routers, switches, firewall and all major devices," Opswaer CEO Ben Horowitz said.

Opsware's data center automation platform uses a combination of server software and agents to track server and application configuration on distributed machines. Opsware System costs between $1,000 and $1,200 per server. Rendition's TrueControl software provides search, audit and report capabilities on network devices, checking modules, configurations, tasks, sessions and events, and comparing the configuration devices against a pre-defined set of criteria.

There is little if any product overlap between the technologies as Opsware focuses on server infrastructure and Rendition on network devices. Also the two companies combined will compete with a broader range of vendors. Historically, Rendition competed with the likes of AlterPoint, Intelliden and Voyence, and Opsware went up against companies such as BladeLogic, but also server provisioning products from IBM Tivoli software.

According to Opsware CTO Tim Howes, the two products will be integrated in a phased approach, with the first fruits of the acquisition becoming available in mid-2005.

"We'd like to achieve an integration between the network level information from Rendition and the application level information from Opsware," he said.

For example, using Opsware and Rendition together, a network manager would be able to see what applications and service that are affected when a switch or router is down. And when adding new components to an application or server, a systems administrator could also configure the firewall or load-balancer associated with the application.

Opsware plans to sell both products stand-alone as integrated. Opsware System costs between $1,000 and $1,200 per server, and Rendition TrueControl costs about $20,000 for 20 managed nodes. The integrated product will be priced on a per device basis as well. Opsware will support Rendition's 30 existing customers, and Opsware says it expects about 15% of its bookings next year to come from its Rendition acquisition.

Opsware will maintain Rendition's Redmond, Wash., headquarters and about 40 Rendition employees. Rendition's CTO Eric Johnson will remain with the company and report directly to Opsware's Horowitz.

Opsware will pay of $15 million in cash and approximately 2.68 million shares of Opsware common stock for Rendition. Opsware says the deal is set to close by the end of January 2005.

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