HP Beefs Up Adaptive Plan

HP beefs up its Adaptive Management strategy with 40 new offerings.

Hewlett-Packard Co. officials are banking on a raft of new software and services offerings to help define the companys amorphous Adaptive Management strategy.

But while the changes, mostly to HPs OpenView platform, could help current users streamline IT operations and trim costs, the companys overall utility computing vision remains hard to pin down, users and analysts say.

"Theyre making progress, but they are lurching along [in explaining Adaptive Management]. They have a very engineered view of the universe," said Rich Ptak, principal at Ptak Noel & Associates, in Amherst, N.H.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company released 40 software and services offerings last week, saying the improved ties between business processes and IT are at the heart of Adaptive Management. A key part of the strategy is HPs effort to extend OpenView management software into the business process layer. To do this, the company is integrating technology it acquired with Talking Blocks Inc. into a new HP OpenView Management Integration Platform, officials said.

The platform will eventually integrate management data from different management domains. It combines HPs Web Services Description Language and Simple Object Access Protocol-based Web services management efforts with other Web services applications built using XML over HTTP or Java or even CORBA, according to Al Smith, chief technology officer for the management software organization.

HP also updated its OpenView Operations tool to enable systems management across firewalls without a security risk. The new release includes a proxy agent that can send and receive commands to and from agents in the open subnet, according to HP officials.

HP also last week streamlined OpenView Operations configuration and made it easier for users to navigate multiple services pages in the consoles GUI.

On the hardware front, HP merged the capabilities of three hardware management tools into one offering that can manage HP-UX, Linux and Windows boxes.

The new Systems Insight Manager combines the functions of HPs existing Servicecontrol Manager for HP-UX, Toptools and HP Insight Manager 7 for ProLiant servers. It can be extended with plug-ins to manage other hardware elements and is integrated with both OpenView Network Node Manager and OpenView Operations. It can be launched from the consoles of those tools, and users can drill down from those consoles into individual servers to reboot them or take other corrective actions.

Systems Insight Manager user Subhash Tantry, executive vice president of operations, engineering and customer care for CenterBeam Inc., in San Jose, Calif., said the merged tool streamlines the user interface and is more extensible. Still, Tantry said the biggest challenge HP faces in its Adaptive Enterprise strategy is in making applications—not hardware or operating systems—work on demand.

"The premise of utility computing is to make computing fungible—like electricity that can be transferred from one city to another," Tantry said. "From a hardware and operating system perspective, you can make it fungible more so than from an application perspective."