HP Sharpens Web Services

OpenView to host platform for services management.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is making a run at a key piece of the Web services industry and is leveraging its system management software to do it.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company next week will announce its Adaptive Management Platform, which is built around HPs OpenView management software and serves as an end-to-end service management infrastructure, sources said. The platform is based on the OpenView framework and its UDC (Utility Data Center) and OpenCall product lines.

In addition to the platform, HP will also announce next week a series of product offerings, partnerships and services to support its vision, along with a road map on when various pieces will fall into place.

"OpenView now forms the core of the HP software strategy as a whole," said Ron Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, a Cambridge, Mass., market research company. "They have pretty much relinquished the middleware and application markets to others that they will partner with and are focusing on management of these resources on the network."

Sources said HP is "morphing" OpenView into Adaptive Management Platform, which will deliver Web services management capabilities and enable enterprises to adapt to changes.

The new OpenView products and services will manage the infrastructure upon which Web services run, sources said. As such, HP will announce enhanced management capabilities for leading application servers, including BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic; IBMs WebSphere; Microsoft Corp.s .Net servers; and Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Open Net Environment, or Sun ONE.

HP will also announce management support for Web services, including those using Universal Description, Discovery and Integration and Simple Object Access Protocol, sources said. Meanwhile, the companys OpenView Web Service Management Engine will allow customers to intercept transactions and actively manage the services.

HP Web Services Management

New software and announcements coming Nov. 19:
  • Adaptive Management Platform, based on OpenView
  • New partners around OpenView, UDC and OpenCall
  • New management capabilities for application servers
  • Major alliance with Microsoft in the works
  • Partnering with Novadigm, ManageSoft and Altiris for desktop and software management
  • Partnering with CheckPoint, Nokia, e-Security, Trend Micro, NFR Security and ISS for security
Sources say HP hopes to show leadership in this area through standards, citing the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards organizations recent adoption of OMI (Open Management Initiative), a specification developed by HP and WebMethods Inc., sources said.

HP officials did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

OMI is but one of two key standards OASIS is looking at. "The main management specifications are the Web-Based Enterprise Management specifications [from the Distributed Management Task Force] and the OMI specification from HP and WebMethods," said Winston Bumpus, director of standards for Novell Inc. and chair of the OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee, in San Jose, Calif. "How these will be used or implemented is still under discussion."

HP will also unveil increased support for developers, including tools forums and workshops to help developers more easily integrate Web services, sources said. In addition, the company is expected to announce enhanced support for Eclipse, the IBM-sponsored open-source development initiative on which HP is a board member.

HP will roll out its new capabilities in six to eight months. In the first stage, the company will deliver, via OpenView, data correlation managers for service-level agreements, .Net transaction analysis capabilities, common OpenView data integration and an engine for correlating Web services. Support for full-blown Web services management will come at the back end of the road map.

"Were not actively looking at Web services management. As a company, were trying to streamline. Until the people managing our Web services identify a need, were not being pressed to come up with a solution," said OpenView user Mark Whatman, principal architect in IT management technologies at Avaya Inc., in Maitland, Fla. "Thatll probably change in a year or so."