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HP fixed on management software

Hewlett-Packard is hell-bent on assuring users of its enterprise management software that it will continue to be a player despite stiff competition.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) is hell-bent on assuring users of its enterprise management software that it will continue to be a player even in the face of stiff competition.

At the first-ever HP OpenView Universe event for users, industry analysts, and members of the press in Boston, Massachusetts, today, HP executives stressed a new direction for its management software business focusing on offering users the service-based views they expect from applications governing their networks and systems.

HP continues to duke it out with multibillion dollar competitors Computer Associates ( CA) and IBM (IBM) subsidiary Tivoli Systems for market share in the high stakes network management software segment.

The systems giant released a bevy of new software that offers tighter integration between elements of the OpenView suite, provides easy-to-use reports to IT (Information Technology) professionals, and adds support for Microsoft's Windows NT to the service-based management equation. The company also announced a new set of software targeted at management of ISP (Internet service provider) network infrastructures.

HP's management software rollout includes:

--A new version of the OpenView IT Service Manager that includes tighter integration between HP's management applications.

--A new suite of software tools called OpenView FireHunter that are targeted specifically at the emerging market for ISP-focused management applications, with applications for management of news, email, and Web-based systems.

--A new OpenView MeasureWare Service Reporter application that provides reports concerning network performance and service-level agreement for administrators. Types of reports include application response times, for example.

--A new OpenView ManageX 3.0 tool that integrates into Microsoft's Management Console (MMC), an administrative component of Windows NT 5.0, the next version of the popular operating system. The tool ties management of NT systems into the overall management picture and is based on technology acquired in the recent purchase of software start-up NuView.

The company also announced new NetMetrix hardware and software probes for various types of networks.

Paul Mason, an analyst with International Data Corporation, said recently that HP still needs to prove it has refocused its efforts in management software. "I'm waiting to be convinced of that," he said.

Mason also pointed out that there remains organizational and integration issues within HP between the Unix- and NT-based versions of the management suite.

Much of the new software is available now, with some elements being prepared for a third quarter release.

In related news, HP announced an updated version of its TopTools PC management application yesterday that incorporates browser-based views and uses the DMI (Desktop Management Interface) specification to add proactive information on desktop systems.

Separately, Tivoli announced a new suite of management tools focused on the business-to-business electronic commerce market. The Cross-Site set of software, which can be integrated within Tivoli's over-arching TME 10 enterprise management suite, includes components for availability, security, and deployment so that businesses can manage the state of Net-based e-commerce applications. The tools will be available in the third quarter.