Opsware Interview

Forbes has an interview with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz of Forbes, which according to Forbes, “makes software to help large corporations manage their information technology operations, has emerged quite the technology phoenix.” Excerpts:

Horowitz: As companies move to web-based computing they get a lot more servers, which are difficult to manage and control. All kinds of problems can arise–security, quality and worms. There is a huge cost to managing all of the new software and equipment. Opsware helps to systemize all of that by automating the data center. Think of it like automating an auto-manufacturing shop. There are huge benefits, but it is a comprehensive effort.

Andreessen: Organizations spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars installing and implementing huge servers, new Web sites and applications. They have to continue to do that, but they also have to clean up the mess of the ’90s. There is a need to cut costs, improve security and build a platform for the next five to ten years. There is a constant need for new systems and new software. People who spend a lot of time following where technology goes understand what we do.

Andreessen [on Tangram, which Opsware acquired recently]: It’s like the flip side of what virus scanners do. Norton hunts down the 6,000 potential viruses you might have. Tangram hunts down the 30,000 software products you might have on your machine. The top corporations have hundreds of thousands of computers. Big organizations with 30,000 to 50,000 employees have 5,000 to 10,000 servers. Odds are in the 1990s they completely lost track of what they have or what [these machines are] running. How many copies of Oracle or Microsoft Office do I have? Are programs like KaZaa [free music sharing software] on my network? Tell Tangram what software to scan for and it will find it. If you want to prohibit people from using KaZaa, you for scan it and can outlaw it on your network so people can’t run the program..Software companies come in and do audits. You’re licensed for 10,000 copies, but you’re running 15,000. Independent users aren’t criminals necessarily; they’re just doing what they think they should do to get the job done. Tangram allows you to know what your employees are doing.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.