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8/26/2010
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HP Acquires Database Automation Firm

Stratavia's Data Palette extends Hewlett-Packard's data center automation into application configuration, operations, and management.

Who Should Hewlett-Packard Buy?
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Who Should Hewlett-Packard Buy?
Hewlett-Packard has acquired Stratavia, whose Data Palette product for automating parts of database and application operations will be added to HP's growing data center automation product line.

No price was disclosed in the acquisition, which was completed Wednesday, said Erik Frieberg, HP VP of marketing. Stratavia was founded in 2001 in Denver, Colo.

Data Palette will be merged into HP Server Automation, a product that is part of a data center automation product line in its software and solutions division. Server Automation controls the provisioning, configuration, and patch management of a server, either physical or virtual. It can manage the software stack on the server, including the operating system, middleware, and web server. Data Palette capabilities will extend that automation into the application and related database configuration, operations, and management, Frieberg said in an interview.

It might take 4-6 weeks to deploy a new database server and an application with its application server and other middleware. The process can be speeded up with the recommended best practices and run-book procedures applied by Server Automation, Frieberg said.

Andy Wright, VP of marketing at Stratavia, said Data Palette "focuses on automating the full lifecycle of applications and database systems," including patch management, compliance reporting, and capturing configuration settings. Users often write scripts to deploy a database server or application, and they are captured and reused when a similar system is about to be set up.

As applications get deployed as services, human error can be eliminated with an automated system that can discover all the moving parts and use-policies to ensure they continue to be operated correctly. Data Palette can be used in staging and deploying SAP and Oracle E-Business Suite applications; Oracle, IBM DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server databases; and major Java application servers, such as Oracle's WebLogic, IBM's WebSphere, and Red Hat's JBoss.

"Today's composite applications are like an iceberg. There may be 70 systems, both physical and virtual, underneath the part that you're using. If each is not configured correctly, then the top of the iceberg doesn't work," said Frieberg.

Data Palette capabilities will also be useful in configuring and operating servers in the enterprise private cloud, where business users will want to provision their own servers and applications. Parts of it will be incorporated into HP's Cloud Service Automation, HP's product for use in building and managing the enterprise cloud infrastructure, he said.

Stratavia is the latest of a series of HP acquisitions aimed at data center automation. In 2007, it acquired Opsware for $1.6 billion, which gave HP the core functionality of Server Automation.

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