HP has acquired IT Automation company Opsware for $1.6 billion.
Whilst any acquisition of this size is interesting in itself, the back story to Opsware is even more so; Opsware was originally LoudCloud, a Web 1.0 company that took $350 million in funding during the Web 1.0 boom. Marc Andreessen explains the story:
In September 1999, at the height of the dot com boom, a small group of colleagues and I started a new company, Loudcloud, based on the idea that the huge Internet infrastructure buildout then underway — by startups and big companies alike — required a new approach to running modern datacenters and computer systems at high scale: automation.
Loudcloud took off like a rocketship, raised $350 million in equity and debt financing, went public in March 2001, and was rapidly nearing $100 million in annual recurring managed services revenue when the entire market blew up and virtually all of our competitors and peers went bankrupt.
In September 2002, we did a complete restart as a public company — we sold our managed services business to EDS and turned Loudcloud into Opsware, a software company based on the core intellectual property developed at Loudcloud. Over the next five years, we executed on our original vision — automation of large-scale modern datacenters and computer systems — within this new model, and built a comprehensive family of state-of-the-art automation software products that power the full range of technologies you find in a modern datacenter, from servers and applications to networking and storage.
Opsware clients include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, GE, Microsoft, Samsung, Comcast, Tivo, and the US Department of Defense. The Sunnyvale based company has 550 employees and $100million in annual revenue.