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HP rolls out OpenView systems management products

Hewlett-Packard released three programs from its OpenView systems management software line that it says will better help companies run their IT departments as a business.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) released three products from its OpenView systems management software line at a forum in Miami.

The three programs -- DecisionCenter, AssetCenter and Application Insight -- will help companies organize their data centers and IT departments from a business perspective, said Bill Emmett, HP OpenView marketing manager.

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Decision Center will be available in September with prices starting at $42,500; AssetCenter, starting at $3,075 per user; and Application Insight, starting at $2,146 will be reportedly available by the end of the year.

DecisionCenter and AssetCenter are borne by the technology of Peregrine Systems Inc., which Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP bought for $425 million in cash last September. Emmett said that DecisionCenter and Application Insight are new; AssetCenter is an update.

"With these products, HP is currently focusing on the intersection of systems management and business processes, and that's an area that users are becoming increasingly concerned with," said Tony Iams, senior analyst with Rye Brook, N.Y.-based Ideas International Ltd.

The products help companies push forward in two industry trends, virtualization and service-oriented architecture (SOA), because knowing the intricacies of how the business works is crucial to both trends, Iams said. HP OpenView's most direct competitor in this sense is IBM's Tivoli, because both are major service providers that must take broad views of how their customers run their businesses, he said.

Other competitors include CA Unicenter and BMC Patrol.

DecisionCenter reportedly allows IT managers to determine the resources needed -- equipment and staff -- to upgrade their system. For example, if a company wanted to make its email more reliable, it could use DecisionCenter to figure out how much it would cost to buy new equipment and hire more employees to make it happen.

"It helps [IT managers] optimize the tradeoff they make because you can't deliver every service perfectly all the time," Emmett said, adding that he thought DecisionCenter helped provide the balance between improving your system and finding the right price to do it.

AssetCenter reportedly allows IT to match business processes with the assets needed to maintain them, thus providing a clear connection between what assets the company has, what they do, and how much they cost. AssetCenter has been part of Peregrine's product line, but Emmett said the new version, which is the first under HP, has some new features:

  • A Web interface to make the program easier to understand, especially for departments outside of IT that need to use the program but aren't necessarily technology or application experts.
  • Information flow to and from Web services, such as facilitating a chargeback to a customer.
  • Improvements to software management, such as determining how many licenses for a piece of software you have and whether you're using them all up or need more.

Finally, Application Insight reportedly maps out connections within and between applications so customers can determine how each program works and what tasks benefit from them.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer

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