Hoping to suck out costs associated with production and maintenance over an application's life cycle, Hewlett-Packard on Monday strengthened its OpenView software portfolio with a raft of products and programs designed to bridge the gap between application development and users' IT operations.
Company officials contend that application costs incurred after an application has be deployed can be significantly reduced by adding management capabilities earlier, as well as throughout the life cycle of an application.
"The thrust of this announcement is we are extending application management in OpenView to go beyond just looking at those applications in production, but to look throughout the application's life cycle. This will better enable users to build in manageability much earlier in that life cycle and to automate a number of the steps to get that application to production," said Scott Fulton, director of HP's Application and Business Service Management Product Group.
With the new and/or enhanced products, HP is trying to automate the deployment of a company's application infrastructure and provisioning products, which will free up most IT shops to spend more time innovating, company officials say.
"Our whole agenda with (HP's) Adaptive Enterprise initiative is to shift a lot of the resources now spent on application production and maintenance over to more innovation pursuits, which is how a company can differentiate themselves form competitors," Fulton said.
Some industry observers think HP's approach is the right one to take in trying to minimize corporate users' pain in implementing comprehensive system management solutions.
"As application services become more complex, a full life cycle approach becomes necessary to develop, optimize, deploy, and maintain applications that have to meet business needs that are constantly changing. IT organizations will have to develop comprehensive application management practices that eliminate barriers between development operations and infrastructure in the organization," said Glenn O'Donnell, an analyst at MetaGroup.
Some of the new and enhanced products in the OpenView portfolio include JMX Metric Builder, which now plugs into BEA Systems's Weblogic Workshop tool to instrument applications for Java Management Extensions; HP OpenView Select Identity application connectors, which can create or update user accounts and profiles; HP OpenView Radia Application Templates for faster deployment of J2EE Web-based servers; and HP OpenView Internet Services 6.0, which features a new dashboard/graphical interface and Troubleshooting Insight Packs to help isolate problems faster.
HP also announced its OpenView Application Readiness Program designed to help value-added resellers and systems integrators make use of OpenView management tools earlier in the application life cycle so they can performance-tune applications in a pre-production environment, according to company officials.
HP hopes the new tools and programs also will help bridge the many different technologies that must work together in a typically complex heterogeneous corporate IT environment, allowing IT staffs to work more effectively at applying consistent management solutions.
"If you look at enterprise management, there are many different domains: the network, servers, the operating system, the packaged apps, and the customized apps. In most of those segments enterprise management is all about what you can do in production because one vendor has built the server, and some other ISV, like SAP AG, has developed the application. You have so little control over some aspects of (an application's) life cycle because it was created in another vendors' camp," Fulton said.