What is HP OpenView?

HP OpenView is not a specific product, nor is it a way of life (contrary to the opinion of many network managers). HP OpenView is a family of products that Hewlett Packard produces and provides for network and systems management. HP designed and deployed most of the OpenView components under UNIX; however, HP has migrated some key components to the 16-bit Windows environment and, more recently, has launched an aggressive campaign to move the entire OpenView family to Windows NT.

Differentiating among the various OpenView products for NT can be tricky. One major point of confusion is the HP OpenView Professional Suite. Although this suite will run under NT, it is really a combination of 16-bit and 32-bit modules geared for workgroup environments. Don't think that this design limits the Professional Suite's value--the suite contains an impressive set of components to service small networks, including a workgroup edition of HP's network manager and a series of tools for managing HP manufactured devices (e.g., hubs, switches, printers, UPSs, and PCs). The Professional Suite also includes software from Symantec (pcANYWHERE, Expose, and Norton Network Administrator), McAfee (Saber LAN Workstation), and Ex Machina (Notify! Connect). Note that HP recently acquired Symantec's Networking Business Unit, which now gives HP full control of Expose and Norton Network Administrator.

The Professional Suite is a capable product for both network and systems management in a workgroup environment, but HP never intended for users to apply it to enterprise-size environments. The enterprise environment has traditionally been the turf of the UNIX-based OpenView components, and these components are the same ones HP is porting to NT as native, 32-bit products. HP is porting all the NT components directly from the UNIX environments--these pieces are not puffed-up versions of the components in the Professional Suite. In fact, HP is enhancing many of the OpenView components for NT to support features and functions not available on UNIX (although HP will retrofit these features to UNIX later).

Moving the entire suite of OpenView components from UNIX to NT will take time. The good news is that the OpenView flagship product--Network Node Manager (NNM)--is now available for NT. NNM is the product most people envision when they think of OpenView. It provides comprehensive, standards-based network management. With NNM, you can navigate your networks from a broad view and penetrate to the node level. NNM can determine a variety of attributes for each node in your network, and the product lets you run diagnostics on the nodes in the event of a problem. Screen A shows a typical NNM display of a network segment. NNM also integrates well with Microsoft's SMS--you can switch from SMS to NNM or vice versa without effort.

In addition to NNM, HP has released several other OpenView components for NT. OmniBack II provides centralized or distributed backup for numerous client and server systems. PerfView and MeasureWare work together to let you monitor, analyze, and forecast the systems and applications load of workstations and servers in your network. PerfView and MeasureWare provides similar capabilities to NT's Performance Monitor, but you can apply PerfView and MeasureWare to a broader range of client operating systems. In addition to providing these components, HP is continuing to release new NT agent modules to strengthen the tie between NT and the UNIX-based OpenView components.

Windows NT Magazine has just begun the process of testing the OpenView for NT components. Look for coverage of the NT implementation of NNM in a future issue, and coverage of other OpenView components in the coming months.

Hewlett Packard * 800-637-7740
Web: http://www.hp.com/go/openview
Price: $1495 for the Professional Suite
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