Microsoft (officially) pals up with Opalis

Contact: Brenon Daly

Two months after we first indicated that Microsoft was interested in Opalis Software, the software giant has indeed acquired the runbook automation (RBA) vendor. No terms were disclosed, but when we talked with sources in mid-October, the price being kicked around was $60m. Opalis was thought to be running at about $10m in revenue. We understand that Cowen Group banked Toronto-based Opalis.

The deal, now that it is official, comes after other fellow RBA startups were snapped up. In March 2007, Opsware (now part of Hewlett-Packard) spent $54m in cash and stock for iConclude, and four months later, BMC paid $53m for RealOps. As that wave of consolidation swept through the RBA market, Opalis positioned itself as an independent alternative to the offerings from the system management giants. That said, the vendor had been drawing closer to Microsoft. In late April, the two companies announced a joint technology agreement that saw, among other things, Opalis integrated into Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 consoles.