The patent — number 7,124,289 — covers the cornerstone of Opsware’s technology, the ability to automate the management of servers and network devices across a data center through model-based control. This innovation allows models of granular configuration information about servers or networks to be stored as records in a database and, as changes are made to any aspect of a systems configuration model, to push those changes to any relevant servers or network devices. This technique supports automation for even extremely large and global datacenters, and it provides a fast, efficient and cost-saving approach to ensuring consistency and compliance.
As described, this patent covers pretty much all of the configuration management tools out there. Just another reason to give no respect to OpsWare, I guess.
An OpsWare employee often tells me I should give them more credit when I complain about how bad the commercial companies are. I’m not fond of the products from either OpsWare of BladeLogic, although I haven’t used either of them extensively and haven’t looked at them in a while, but last I heard OpsWare considers their user guide to be proprietary and confidential. This clearly indicates a closed, fearful mindset, and I refuse to give respect to a company with that attitude, no matter the product set. It’d be easier to give these companies credit if they had anything other than whitepaper puff pieces on their sites.