HP Buys Bear First Fruit


HP used an event in Spain to introduce software that
configures computing services and applications based on changes in business
demand.


Officials from the Palo Alto, Calif., company unveiled the new OpenView
Automation Manager as the first software from its Novadigm and Consera
Software acquisitions this year.


Launched at the Software Universe show in Madrid, the tool adjusts on the
fly to meet peaks in order processing for applications, servers, storage and
networks, based on service-level objectives and transaction demand.


OpenView Automation Manager also employs business intelligence technology
from HP Labs, according to Todd DeLaughter, vice president and general
manager, Management Software Organization, HP.


The product improves on current OpenView change and configuration management
software by determining when the desired state needs to be changed in order
to satisfy business priorities. It then automatically provisions changes
based on current demand.


In one Automation Manager use case, a financial services client uses the
tool for real-time monitoring and analysis of how IT incidents impact its
business. In the event of a bottleneck during a transaction, Automation
Manager analyzes and decides such tasks as whether or not to add another
application server.


Such products are valuable because they allow IT managers to minimize manual
management without adding new hardware or applications. Engineers can look
into their data centers and understand their make-up and what they should look
like.


“Automation and insight are two key pain points our customers are struggling
with at this point,” DeLaughter told internetnews.com. “How do you
take the reams of data and string them up into something meaningful?”


DeLaughter argued that Automation Manager trumps competing products from
IBM’s Tivoli line and Opsware because
they don’t rely on scripts to operate, rendering those software tools more
rigid. HP’s model-based approach offers more flexibility, he said, and pares
costs through task automation and resource optimization.


Competition among management software vendors is strong, with IBM, HP
Computer Associates, BMC, Opsware and even Microsoft mixing it up in a
market Gartner said topped $5.6 billion in 2003. IBM Monday unveiled
an on-demand Tivoli center to lure and educate more customers.


Automation Manager will be available later this month on Windows, Linux, and
eventually HP-UX. HP expects the software will be popular with blade
server environments. Pricing depends on how much automation is built in, but
generally starts at $1,000 per server.


DeLaughter also revealed that HP has refreshed its home-cooked OpenView
Service Desk. Version 5.0 includes new, off-the-shelf reports, service and
service-level agreement (SLA) templates, as well as a Web graphical user
interface that is kinder on the eyes.

The enhanced HP OpenView Service Level Manager 5.0 module of Service Desk
makes defining, agreeing, measuring, reporting and improving the quality of
service to run IT like a business. Used with Service Desk 5.0, the module
sends out alarms around compliance in real time. The product supports
Windows and Unix and will move to a Web-based Java interface in due time.


The third product HP is highlighting in Madrid this week is OpenView
SelectFederation, a piece of identity management software that will work
with the company’s SelectAccess and SelectIdentity tools to provide a fully
interoperable suite for enabling Web services through various devices.


SelectFederation gives clients the ability to establish and maintain IDs
across different technology platforms, such as Windows-based or
Unix-oriented domains where code differs. For example, a handheld device
fitted with SelectFederation could access different services from disparate
sources via the Web with no trouble.


The tool is based on technology from OEM partner Trustgenix and supports
Security Assurance Markup Language (SAML) and the Liberty Alliance. It will
be available in the first quarter of 2005 with platform support and pricing to be
named later.


To sell more OpenView products to the customers who need network management,
DeLaughter said HP has embarked on a reseller agreement with Cisco, which
will now sell OpenView products on their price list and through their sales
force.

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