Expanded Openview on Tap

HP readies tools for adaptive enterprise.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is hoping to clarify its vision for adaptive management with the announcements this week of some 30 new and enhanced OpenView offerings.

Despite the breadth of the launch, some observers say HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., still has work to do to explain its Adaptive Enterprise strategy, as well as how the new tools fit into that strategy.

"They need to make it clear whats shipping today and what portions remain to be filled in," said Jasmine Noel, principal at JNoel Associates, in Boston.

According to sources close to HP, the strategy is built on a flexible reference architecture, dubbed Darwin, that surrounds business process, application and infrastructure layers with management, control, measurement and assessment functions. The goal is to move the focus of management from simply maintaining stable IT environments toward a tighter alignment with the business.

The Darwin model stresses an environment where IT factors change in real time with business decisions, the sources said.

"They are talking about three stages of adoption for adaptive computing. They say they have customers and products at each stage. The highest level is fully automated adaptive computing," said one source familiar with the platform.

To improve stability, HP will outline new functionality in its flagship OpenView Network Node Manager that integrates fault, performance and embedded diagnostic functions, according to sources. The new release also includes a new graphical interface, new options for managing frame relay, Multiprotocol Label Switching and VOIP (voice over IP), as well as enhanced reporting and Linux support.

HP officials declined to comment on the initiative.

Embedded intelligence is a key competitive feature, said Noel. "What Node Manager really needs is a boost in root-cause analysis capabilities," she said. "They need something to go up against other management vendors."

"I hope its being embedded and not an add-on product. That would make it more expensive," said user Paul Edmunds, senior systems programmer at Duke Energy Corp., in Charlotte, N.C. As for the frame relay support, those networks "have grown significantly in the past few years. To be able to include specific management is something well welcome," Edmunds said.

HP and its partners, working with a new unified developer tool kit, will also introduce a number of new Smart Plug-ins for OpenView, including a Smart Plug-in from Wavelink Corp. for integrating wireless management with Network Node Manager.

The new VOIP option provides discovery and layout of IP-telephony-specific components and fault and performance management for VOIP, and it integrates with Cisco Systems Inc.s Call Center to streamline administration of telephony services.

To better align IT with the business, HP will deliver a common graphical interface for its OpenView Service Desk and OpenView Service Navigator that provides business-oriented service views. HP also bolstered the integration and correlation capabilities between those offerings to speed problem resolution in a new OpenView Service Navigator Value Pack, sources said.

Despite the many advances, key elements required to reach HPs vision are still missing, according to Debra Curtis, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Amherst, N.H. HP has not yet consolidated reporting among multiple products, including the HP Performance View Insight product acquired nearly two years ago with the Trinagy Inc. acquisition, Curtis said.