Opsware's Big Year
By Jesse Freund

(Business 2.0) – When Marc Andreessen's software upstart announces its fourth-quarter earnings in early March, behemoths like IBM and Sun Microsystems will be paying close attention. They're less interested in Opsware's actual performance--the company is expected to report a loss of 2 cents per share--than in what it says about the nascent data-center automation market. Opsware's business is still fairly small; with annual revenue of around $37 million, it claims about 35 percent of the market. But the company will likely turn its first profit next year as its market explodes; Gregg Speicher of Farmhouse Equity Research estimates that the industry will be worth $5 billion by 2010. No wonder both Big Blue and Sun recently snapped up startups to take on Opsware.