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OpenView tool adds Web interface

Internet Service Manager will let users of Hewlett-Packard's OpenView platform take the pulse of their Web servers.

A new management tool will allow users of Hewlett-Packard's (HWP) OpenView platform to take the pulse of their Web servers.

Internet Service Manager, the latest OpenView enhancement, is part of the unit's renewed focus on lending Web functionality to the platform for service-based administration; it will ship this month. The program collects performance information from popular Web servers from vendors such as Netscape Communications and Microsoft and allows an administrator to keep track of all links to online content. The tool is basically an add-on component to existing Unix and Windows NT-based versions of IT/Operations and MeasureWare OpenView software. The add-on allows them to view Internet-based devices.

In addition, Internet Service Manager will allow management of firewalls and encryption of management data passing through to the Web. The new features are augmented by partnerships with firewall security companies such as Check Point Software Technologies and Raptor Systems.

The auditing capabilities within Internet Service Manager can be used to gather link data to Web servers. This tool, which can also be used as a standalone product, is written entirely in Java, allowing it to be used on any platform. It costs $795.

The new tool, to be released by HP next week, is being shown to attendees of the OpenView Forum conference in Anaheim, California, this week.

"This is an environment where the network is more central to the way applications work," noted Bill Bonin, director of OpenView for Internet computing. "We've come to a clear understanding that the Internet changes everything."

OpenView is an umbrella name for a series of management software products from HP that focus on network and systems management. OpenView is among the most widely used management applications in corporate enterprises, though there is stiff competition in the marketplace from the likes of Cabletron Systems' Spectrum, Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG, and IBM subsidiary Tivoli Systems' TME 10. Each platform offers its own take on how IT professionals should manage networks, with varying strategies forcing users to make far-reaching choices about how they want to deal with ongoing network administration.

HP was fairly silent while competitors made moves to integrate Internet technologies and roll new functionality into their products. But HP has gathered steam in recent months, buying desktop management functionality in the Symantec acquisition, announcing delivery of a Windows NT version of its flagship Network Node Manager OpenView tool, and offering a new strategy for network management based on Web interfaces.

The company also plans to expand its network views through support for more OpenView elements in topology maps. HP officials said all OpenView products would boast Web interfaces by the middle of next year, with more policy-based management features to come as well. HP will also announce management of mainframe environments via integration with management tools for MVS, CICS, and SNA environments from Sterling Software.