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Compaq tool gets a Web face

The firm will offer a new version of its Insight Manager software that requires nothing but a Web browser to use.

A homegrown systems management software tool bundled with hardware from Compaq Computer soon will gain long-promised hooks to the Web.

Nearly two years after a slew of high-profile companies stood together and pledged to create and incorporate a set of Web-based management standards, Compaq will offer a new version of its Insight Manager software that requires nothing but a Web browser to use.

The new Insight Manager XE soon will enter a beta testing process, with delivery of the management tool within systems due by the fourth quarter of this year, according to executives. The new tool supports a set of widely publicized standards under the umbrella term Web-based Enterprise Management, or WBEM.

Functions in the current Insight Manager 4.0 offering will be enhanced so an administrator can extract management information from systems via the Web and allow them to take better advantage of new filtering capabilities so that management data and alerts can be separated into departments, for example.

Insight Manager XE also will support third-party devices via use of the standard simple network protocol and desktop management interface specifications, according to Ed Reynolds, director of product planning for Compaq's management solutions business unit.

Previously, administrators could use Insight Manager to gain access to information on a specific server system. Now, information on an entire network of systems can be viewed as needed, with the console serving as an aggregation point for network information.

In addition, the company plans to provide operating system management via a Microsoft Windows NT-based agent from BMC Software being integrated with Compaq's management tools. Compaq plans similar integration for the XE version with enterprise management software suites.

The BMC agent is one component of a recent development deal between the two companies.

In addition, Compaq plans to add a set of direct and channel-based services that allows third parties to offer services based on the remote capabilities offered in the Web-ified XE tool.