HP Adds Automation Tool After Closing Consera

No sooner had the ink dried on its contract to buy automation specialist Consera Software than Hewlett-Packard unveiled new software developed by Consera that allows users to build graphical models linking their business with various IT components.

The Palo Alto, Calif., systems giant announced plans to buy Consera on February 4 for an undisclosed sum, along with Novadigm, for which it will pay $121 million in cash.

HP has installed Consera as part of its Software Global Business Unit and used its assets to automate IT management
tasks in its OpenView software portfolio, a keystone of HP’s utility computing strategy.

The HP OpenView Service Delivery Designer helps companies build graphical models that represent business services mapped to IT components to bolster the quality, speed and manageability of data centers. The software uses a drag-and-drop interface to reduce the time and cost of development.

Service Delivery Designer also drives logical workflows, deploying them into a test environment where logic can be assessed, and rolls them into a production site while earlier versions are still resident. Multiple versions of workflows can be maintained on a single server.

Such flexibility, HP said in a statement, is geared to help IT businesses adapt to evolving business needs on the fly.

The product, showcased at the DEMO 2004 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., also adds powerful automation capabilities to the HP OpenView software portfolio for unified management of the complete enterprise IT environment.

“This technology is key to furthering the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy in which business and technology are synchronized to capitalize on change,” Nora Denzel, senior vice president, HP Adaptive Enterprise, said in a statement. “The Service Delivery Designer provides this functionality and ease of use, allowing dependable and error-free management of server environments to become reality.”

More broadly, HP and rivals IBM, , VERITAS and others are using automated management software as a key component of utility computing environments, where it is used to perform tuning and maintenance tasks

otherwise undertaken by IT administrators. By adding Consera software to OpenView, HP hopes to free up more time for IT staffers to attack other, more pressing tasks.

“Management software is crucial to customers who want to be more agile,” Denzel said during a recent conference call discussing the importance of the technology HP was acquiring from Consera and Novadigm. “In many environments, IT changes are done manually.”

IDC estimates that companies spend nearly $174 billion on ongoing operations and management of their existing IT infrastructure. Management software can automatically make these changes.

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