New HP OpenView Tools Take Holistic Tack

Hewlett-Packard's management software portfolio seeks to align IT with business.

Hewlett-Packard on June 19 at its Software Forum in Miami Beach will raise the bar for its own OpenView IT infrastructure management portfolio to help better align IT with business objectives.

HP will add or update three OpenView offerings that are designed to help IT run itself like a business, help IT better manage IT assets and give IT better visibility into the application and infrastructure components that deliver key business applications.

HP users at the forum, which has grown with HPs acquisitions of Peregrine and Novadigm, will get a preview of the new OpenView DecisionCenter tool.

Designed internally with feedback from Unisys professional services consultants, DecisionCenter helps IT executives better understand the implications that certain service level agreements have on staffing and resource requirements.

"It helps CIOs make the right kinds of tradeoffs between what service levels they will provide and what resources they have staffing and infrastructure-wise to support those IT services," explained Bill Emmett, manager of portfolio marketing in the OpenView Business Unit in Fort Collins, Colo.

The tool, which gathers data from a range of sources to model the IT environment, allows IT executives to perform "what if" analysis to see how changes might impact service levels or staffing and resource requirements.

"CXOs relate their goals to whatever they have in their operational environment," said Sumeet Malhotra, global director of advanced research in the Chief Technology Officers Office in Blue Bell, Pa.

"They want to see what the impact of making a change—say in removing some hardware infrastructure—would be to the different business goals they have," he said.

"Weve aligned [models of] business performance monitoring, business process management and business goals with IT operations information."

The "what if" models can be used to gauge what it would take resource and personnel-wise to increase a SLA (service level agreement) from 99.9 percent to 99.99 percent.

"It helps the [lines of business] understand the cost analysis associated with improving your SLAs. It arms the CIO with the information needed to have that conversation and becomes basis for IT to more predictably and clearly communicate with those LOBs," said Emmett.

OpenView Decision Support is due in September 2006.

Version 5.0 of the OpenView AssetCenter software is the first repackaged version of the Peregrine asset management software HP acquired in 2005. The new release provides initial integration with existing OpenView products.

Customers can use it to understand what assets they have, and see how assets are being used and improve return on investment by better tracking their usage.

HP used Web services as an integration method to allow AssetCenter to consume and provide information to other data sources.

The new release, also due in September 2006, will include an enhanced Web-based interface targeted at non-IT users in other departments, such as finance or procurement.

The transition from Peregrine to HP has been a smooth one so far for users at one financial services firm, which asked not to be identified.

"Anytime theres a merger youre always concerned. [But] the support level has been the same; weve had no issues, and there have been no bumps along the way," said the user, who believes OpenView AssetCenter brings a powerful application to HP, which "didnt really have an asset management tool," said the user.

/zimages/2/28571.gifHP inks deal to acquire Peregrine Systems. Click here to read more.

The new OpenView Application Insight tool moves HP beyond more component-focused event management to better view applications performance in the context of the infrastructure that delivers those applications.

It uses discovery-assisted modeling to group applications and their supporting infrastructure into a hierarchical model of customer and business services.

Then it integrates relevant response time and performance data into the model to provide a single, up-to-date version of the "truth."

"There are a lot of application management tools that focus on a particular thing. Some things measure in depth information on Oracle or Exchange and others do J2ee transaction management," said Emmett.

"Application Insight has all those measurements to provide that single point of truth around whats going on inside that application."

Emmett added that the product "can see in and around the network and get down to the [Enterprise Java Bean] level—say an EJB makes a database call. We can measure the round trip time of that, so you can get a sense if an application is performing poorly in one tool instead of several."

OpenView AssetCenter is due in the fourth quarter of 2006.

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