Deal Adds Packet Analysis to HPs OpenView

Thanks to a deal with Packet Design, HP's OpenView Network Node Manager will gain visibility into Layer Three routing and the actual path that packets traverse.

Hewlett Packard Companys OpenView Network Node Manager will get visibility into Layer Three routing and the actual path that packets traverse thanks to a new OEM deal it inked with Packet Design Inc.

The two vendors this week announced the multi-year agreement, under which HP licensed the software used in the Palo Alto, Calif. companys Route Explorer appliance.

HP intends to use its own platform, based on Compaq Proliant hardware, along with the IP route analysis software from Packet Design, to offer an optional tool for use with its OpenView Network Node Manager.

By next Spring, HP will offer the optional appliance integrated with Network Node Manager (NNM) through its own software channels.

HP intends to integrate the route analysis software with NNMs topology map, event system, polling engine and user interface.

The Packet Design software can dynamically track the paths taken between source and destination by listening to routers in a network as they exchange route path information. It acts as a passive monitor of the route path information exchanged between routers running Open Shortest Path First, Intermediate System-Intermediate System, and Border Gateway Protocols.

It promises to help boost NNMs root cause analysis capability, speed problem resolution, and boost the productivity of network operators troubleshooting problems in the logical networks.

"We tell OpenView in real time that we see an outage between two routers. OpenView can ask Route Explorer what devices are available between the two, so that in real time, OpenView can direct polling to the set of devices between the two devices. OpenView would otherwise start a blanket polling, so now you dont have to wait on polling cycles and you can direct OpenView to where the failure is to detect problems OpenView doesnt see today," described Jeff Raice, executive vice president of marketing for Packet Design in Palo Alto.

Because the Route Explorer can tell OpenView what routes are available and which are not, operators can see which problems are most critical to prioritize problem resolution, he added.

Still, HP may meet with more than a little resistance to an appliance-based approach to Layer Three management, believes John Morency, principal at Momenta Research Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass.

"It boils down to the willingness of users to go with the appliance based approach. For a 5,000 to 10,000-node network, how many boxes do you need and does it scale across that network? Is it an implementation risk youre willing to take? Can you get a decent return on an investment like this? The folks I talk to are still in hunker down mode and arent investing in new management technologies," he said.

Packet Design officials asserted that among more sophisticated network operators, the technology is viewed as a must-have.

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