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Hybrid Cloud Blog

Hi, Everyone,

Great news for enterprise, government and service provider customers who use System Center. I’m excited to announce that Microsoft has acquired Opalis Software, a Toronto-based private company that is a leader in IT process automation software. Opalis will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft.

I believe this acquisition is a pivotal piece to deliver on our dynamic datacenter initiative, which I’ve spoken about beforeon this blog. This deal brings together the deep datacenter automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated physical and virtualized datacenter management capabilities of Microsoft System Center. I believe Opalis’ software together with the System Center suite will improve the efficiency of IT staff and operations, and customers will gain greater process consistency. Opalis’ software captures the IT processes, in a documented and repeatable way, which can be run over and over again. These capabilities will be added to Microsoft System Center to help customers automate complex IT processes, increase cost savings and shorten timeframes for IT service delivery across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments.

So why is IT process automation so important to us? We know that as customers and service providers use Microsoft server infrastructure, tools and applications in more – and larger – datacenters, these customers require a greater level of automation in their operations. This is especially important as our customers build out highly automated and scalable virtual environments. Advanced workflow processes will be vital for optimization and to avoid potential virtual server sprawl. I read that Gartner believes that, by year-end 2010, at least 50% of the automation and workflow management tasks in support of virtual server infrastructures will be supported by evolving RBA-based tools. Reliable automation of processes across their complex, heterogeneous datacenter not only reduces costs but also ensures the services that drive their business are always available.

And why Opalis? First, Opalis customers have told us that the Opalis employees are a strong set of individuals. Second, customer feedback is that the Opalis software is easy to use, easy to deploy and delivers value in a short period of time. This part is important. Out of the box, Opalis products integrate with System Center, and will allow System Center to integrate with other infrastructure software from CA, BMC, HP and others to integrate across an IT organization.

So if you don’t know Opalis products, you should get to know them. Their products include:

  • Prepackaged workflows and automation expertise for the common tasks in managing a datacenter. Examples include Run Book Automation, virtual machine lifecycle management, and incident ticket management.
  • An automation platform that lets customers create and execute workflows across datacenter management tools.
  • Deep integration capabilities to orchestrate tasks across server infrastructure and systems management products, including those from BMC, CA, IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Symantec.

So what does this acquisition mean for Opalis and Microsoft customers? Opalis will continue to fulfill its existing commitments to customers and continue to deliver support as we transition Opalis to the Microsoft systems and processes. What’s interesting is that a large majority of Opalis customers use System Center today. We intend to make RBA capabilities a core part of System Center going forward. You can get more details of the transition at Microsoft Pathways. This site will provide the most current information on the transition and provide answers to frequently asked questions. Also, be sure to read today’s blog post from Todd DeLaughter, CEO of Opalis:

For Microsoft customers this acquisition provides access to a new set of capabilities to help you automate your processes and tasks in your datacenter environment. Our virtualization stack just became more complete with the capabilities of Opalis. I sat down for a video interview recently to share more of my thoughts, see it here.


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Brad Anderson