HP Zeros In on Web Services Management

HP chief Carly Fiorina says management concerns are one of the key inhibitors to widespread adoption of Web services.

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced several initiatives around Web services management Monday, including the formation of a dedicated Web services management team within the company, a focus on Web services management in the Java environment, expansion of HP OpenView into Web services management, and a leading role in setting standards for Web services management.

HPs chairman and chief executive, Carly Fiorina, made the announcements Monday during a keynote speech at BEA Systems Inc.s eWorld developer conference in Orlando, Fla. Fiorina said management concerns remain one of the key inhibitors to widespread adoption of Web services.

"Carly said one of the big inhibitors is Web services management," said Al Smith, CTO of the newly announced Web Services management organization at HP. "Weve made a laser-like focus on the direction were taking with software, and were going to use OpenView" as the cornerstone of HPs Web services management initiative.

Smith said HP will be working with a number of other companies, including IBM Corp., Novell Inc. and webMethods Inc., to form a new technical committee in the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). The new committee, which will be announced later this week, will be known as the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) committee and will seek to create a standard for Web services management, Smith said.

The WSDM committee is a reorganization of the Web Services management Task Force, another OASIS group. WSDM will re-emphasize the work the task force started and will work in close alignment with the World Wide Web Consortiums Web Services Architecture efforts and the Global Grid Forums work on management in the Web services space, Smith said.

Smith said HP will contribute a Web services management framework to the OASIS group. He said the framework proposes two-way communication in Web services management and is designed to enable developers to create "management-ready" systems for integration with existing standards-based management tools.

"Standards are going to be real important, in terms of helping to reduce complexity, unify systems and cut costs," Smith said.

Meanwhile HP also announced a dedicated Web Services Management team to extend the HP OpenView systems management software suite to cover Web services management. The group will report to Nora Denzel, senior vice president of software. HP also will focus on Web services management in the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) space, to complement its focus on .Net-based Web services. The company said the new practice within HP Services has more than 500 consultants versed in J2EE solutions, but will have more than 1,000 by the end of 2003.

And as part of its own product offerings, HP has developed a suite of software components, the HP OpenView Web Services Management Engine, which enables users to intercept Web services requests and manage the service as opposed to the platform where it resides, Smith said. And specific to BEA, HP offers the HP OpenView Transaction Analyzer, which uses APIs, co-developed with BEA, to monitor application transactions. In addition, HP has an HP OpenView Smart Plug-in for monitoring and managing BEA WebLogic Servers.

"BEA is a strategic partner for HP," Smith said. "And BEA has an active and broad Web services infrastructure."

Smith said HP actually formed its internal Web services management team "around the end of the summer" of 2002. He said his group is working to build standards-based technology to support Web services management. Although several companies have rushed into the Web services management space, Smith said he does not believe any one of them has made any real claim to the territory.

"A lot of smaller companies are popping up," he said. "They lend a lot of credibility to the fact that there are points of pain, but Im not sure they address the end-to-end needs" of enterprise Web services users.

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