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HP's Open View Seeks Common Criteria Blessing

HP said it is seeking stringent security certifications to make its Adaptive Enterprise platform more appealing to the U.S. government and its contractors.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said it is in the progress of pursuing Common Criteria certifications from the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) for its HP OpenView Operations for UNIX 8.1 and its HP OpenView Network Node Manager version 7.5. OpenView is a key piece to the company's Adaptive Enterprise strategy, a virtualization and provisioning architecture for data centers and large-scale networks.

Nineteen countries recognize Common Criteria certifications, and the Department of Defense requires its agencies to purchase NIAP-certified information technology products. Currently, federal civilian agencies and commercial users are not required to use NIAP-certified products, but many who are thinking of working with the government are verifying their products.

"Government agencies are transforming the way they integrate, access and share information," Jim Ganthier, worldwide director of defense, intelligence and security solutions at HP, said in a statement. "As the federal government increases its use of mobility solutions that are securely integrated, the importance of NIAP Common Criteria certification will continue to increase."

HP said it is investing millions of dollars in the certification and has plans for near-term investments to do the same for other HP OpenView software.

The evaluation levels are ordered hierarchically in increments beginning from EAL1 to EAL7, with each level requiring a more advanced and intense means of testing. To date, EAL4 is the highest level of certification awarded to any security product in the market. Evaluations from EAL5 to EAL7 exist but have not yet been recognized by all Common Criteria members.

Already, HP has certified many of its software products and operating systems. The company's HP-UX 11i (release 11.11) operating system has a EAL 4 Controlled Access Protection Profile (CAPP) cert. The HP Tru64 UNIX V5.1A operating system is cleared as an EAL 1 product.

HP has certified its Xeon-based ProLiant, Itanium-based Integrity and its HP carrier-grade servers running Linux, including Red Hat Enterprise 3 update 3 and Novell's SuSE Linux 8 SP3 a the EAL 3+ level.

Both OpenView products are slated for EAL 2 certification, HP said.

In a separate announcement, HP said it secured a five-year contract to supply the U.S. Department of the Air Force with non-ruggedized desktop PCs, notebooks and servers.

The agreement, which falls under HP's General Services Administration schedule, also covers additional storage for existing storage area networks (SAN), associated peripherals, replacement parts, and associated services and accessories.

The Air Force contract is one of a series of recent customer wins for HP's Public Sector business, the company said. HP has similar contracts with the United States Postal Service, the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Navy.