HP frames big picture with OpenView

Promoting its role in the delivery of IT services, whether by internal systems departments or external providers, Hewlett-Packard used the occasion of its OpenView channel partner event here on Tuesday to detail a raft of product updates spanning the range of network management through application management.

HP's sweeping OpenView releases included an upgrade of its Windows NT management software, new application management modules for enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, network management tools for network service providers, and other releases aimed at filling niches in the company's recently crafted "service-oriented" approach.

At the company's OpenView Channel Connections Conference '98, HP also pitched new products and programs to its channel partners, including a more concerted effort in the Windows NT market, and a year-2000 program for desktop systems.

The OpenView group has modified its message in recent months, moving away from exclusively touting product features to emphasise end-to-end infrastructure and application management as the delivery of services.

"We've been evolving from a more product-oriented approach to more of an asset management and service level management model," said Olivier Helleboid, general manager of the OpenView software division.

Helleboid contrasted HP's approach with competing management schemes, such as those from Tivoli and Computer Associates, that he dismissed as too monolithic and cumbersome to meet the needs of businesses strapped for time and resources and running to keep up with changing business conditions.

The OpenView releases cover a wide array of products and programs.

-- HP OpenView Predictive Network-performance Management is an add-on that will augment the network monitoring and topology management capabilities of OpenView NetMetrix and Network Node Manager with predictive analysis of network loads and service levels.The add-on is slated for the first quarter of 1999.

-- HP OpenView Policy-based Network-management integration tool for mixed configurations ties into 3Com's Transcend Policy Management System, Cisco's CiscoAssure, Fore Systems' ForeView Policy Services, HP's ProCurve switches, Intel's policy aware devices, and Nortel Networks' Optivity Policy Services.

-- An update of HP OpenView Network Node Manager 6.0 permits service providers to manage and monitor network resources from the point of view of end-user performance.

-- HP OpenView NetMetrix Site Manager for Windows NT is a network performance monitoring and analysis tool designed for small to mid-size networks and remote sites, according to HP officials. The $US5745 package, which is currently shipping, takes advantage of the embedded remote monitoring (RMON) capabilities of network devices.

-- A so-called HP OpenView ready-to-run channel push in the Windows NT market will include packages of products and services for migrating customers from Novell NetWare to Windows NT, managing mixed messaging environments of Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, managing SAP R/3 and Baan ERP applications, managing integrated networks, and managing Windows NT clusters. The NetWare migration service and network management offerings are currently available, with the remaining bundles on tap for early next year, according to company officials.

-- HP OpenView ManageX 4.0 is an upgrade of the Windows NT and BackOffice-focused tool HP acquired last year, which includes HP's first shipping support of the industry-standard Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) architecture, improved reporting and graphical display of data, and management of NetWare servers. The upgrade also includes plug-ins for the management of Baan and SAP ERP applications. Currently shipping, the $795-per-server tool can optionally be purchased with the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) for $US2995.

-- HP OpenView Application Quality of Service is a set of tools and overall approach to managing the full range of hardware, networking, and systems underpinning applications. "We're shifting a lot of resources to this effort, Helleboid said. "We're moving from core operations management to [leveraging] knowledge of the application environments we manage, and pulling that back in from an enterprise console standpoint. That includes all components of the system.

-- The Year 2000 Rapid Deployment channel program, available next month, is a set of tools and services pitched as a quick way to perform Y2K analysis and remediation on desktop systems.

-- HP OpenView PerfView for Solaris, an $US8000 OpenView management add-on for Sun's Solaris OS, is slated to ship in January.

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