Hewlett-Packard is to acquire data centre automation software maker Opsware in a deal worth $1.6 billion.
Opsware, which makes software to automate administration tasks, such as provisioning servers and installing security patches, will be merged into HP’s growing Software division, strengthening its systems management portfolio.
Historically, software has been marginal to HP’s overall business, however under CEO Mark Hurd, it has been slated to become a major growth engine within the company
Last year, HP spent $4.5 billion in acquiring management software company Mercury Interactive.
“Following last year’s acquisition of Mercury Interactive, the addition of Opsware is expected to enhance HP’s standing as one of the world’s leading software companies and drive profitable growth for HP,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, HP
Opsware was co-founded by Marc Andreesen, who is best known for co-authoring Mosiac, the first widely-used web browser and co-founding Netscape.
The deal is expected to close in HP’s fourth fiscal quarter.