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HP launches software automation manager

HP launches software automation manager

Hewlett-Packard plans to unveil a management automation software product and a new version of its help desk software.

Hewlett-Packard plans to unveil a management automation software product and a new version of its help desk software. The new HP OpenView Automation Manager product replaces the pricey Utility Data Center offering. It includes technologies HP got when it acquired Novadigm Inc. and Consera Software early this year, as well as business intelligence software from HP Labs.

Automation Manager, which will ship in January, gives CIOs an automated predictive system for managing the IT services of a corporation, said David Gee, HP's vice president of worldwide software marketing. When demands change, the software automatically optimizes the configuration of services and applications to match preset service levels, he said.

Model-based Automation

For example, Gee said, if a corporation needed to add 1,000 e-mail users, the product would help model the process involved and automate the setup based on the projected length of the process and the desired level of e-mail performance.

At its heart, the new software relies on "model-based automation" instead of building the automation from basic scripts, he said. "It's a lot more flexible and robust," Gee said.

Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said the offering is an important product for HP that is "in effect a replacement for the Utility Data Center." The UDC hardware/software bundle was priced in excess of $1 million and was called very complex by analysts. "Before this, HP had basically a muddle strategy where they wanted you to buy UDC and software," said Gillett.

Michael Hanzlick, project manager at T-Systems International GmbH, the Frankfurt-based networking branch of Deutsche Telekom AG, said he will test Automation Manager once it's available. The product should help make management of systems more precise, he said, adding that he isn't sure which features are most important.

T-Systems has been using OpenView products since 1996, gradually adding features as its global network grew to 350 locations with 3,500 servers and 68,000 clients. T-Systems added Novadigm management tools two years ago, and Hanzlick said he expects the integrated products to better manage the operation.

"It's ideal that HP and Novadigm work together," said Hanzlick. T-Systems uses Novadigm to create a "desired state model" of how a process should run in the event of changes in system usage.

Stephen Elliot, an analyst at IDC, said Automation Manager will provide a tighter integration of OpenView products. But, Elliot added, "I wouldn't say it's better or different" than products from competitors such as Computer Associates International Inc. or IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Software unit.

HP is also expected to ship HP OpenView Service Desk 5.0 in mid-2005. It will feature a new Web-based graphical user interface and standard reports, as well as service-level agreement templates. -- Computerworld (US)

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