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Andreesen Gets Cisco Piggyback

10:20 AM -- Has Marc Andreesen, the Internet guru who founded Netscape, finally pulled off a coup with his latest brainchild, Opsware?

In 1999, Andreesen founded hosting firm Loudcloud, which went public in 2001. This, in turn, was later rebranded as Opsware with a new focus on server automation.

But for all their smarts, it has hardly been plain sailing for Andreesen and his Opsware co-founder Ben Horowitz, with their baby facing stiff competition from established players such as IBM, Veritas, and BladeLogic. (See Topsy Turvy Times for Opsware.)

That could be about to change. Opsware has signed a multimillion-dollar, multi-year” distribution deal with Cisco, which will see the networking giant resell Opsware’s Network Automation System (NAS). (See Opsware, Cisco Ink Deal.)

Though Opsware execs would not go into specifics on a conference call this week, they admitted the deal will serve as the launchpad to sell their server automation products into data centers. This, they added, may even see Cisco challenge EDS as Opsware’s number one customer. (See Opsware Surpasses Guidance and Opsware Records Q1 Results.)

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