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Microsoft pines for automation firm Opalis

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Microsoft said on Friday that it has acquired Toronto-based Opalis Software, a privately-held maker of runbook automation software.

The software giant did not disclose financial details of the transaction, but research firm 451 Group says the amount being negotiated in mid-October was about $60m.

The acquired firm's flagship product is Opalis Integration Server, which uses data center monitoring systems to make workflows to automate launching of new IT services or managing existing processes. The firm's portfolio will be folded into Microsoft's Systems Center.

"I believe this acquisition is a pivotal piece to deliver on our dynamic datacenter initiative," wrote Brad Anderson, corporate veep of Microsoft's management and services unit in a blog post.

Anderson added that Opalis products already integrate with Systems Center out-of-the-box, and that the integration will allow System Center to integrate with other infrastructure software from CA, BMC, HP, and others.

Opalis said it will continue to fulfill its existing customer commitments while it's being absorbed into the Microsoft collective.

"I believe, with the Opalis technology, Microsoft will have the most complete virtualization stack available from any single vendor," waxed Opalis CEO Todd DeLaughter in a separate blog post.

The purchase also marks Microsoft ramping up its acquisition activities after a dry spell during 2009 that may have been (hopefully) the worst of the recession. On Thursday, Microsoft announced it would buy Sentillion for its health services software. ®

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