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Best Products: Network management
By Christine Burns, Network World, 02/27/06

Winning company: HP
Winning product: OpenView Network Node Manager, OpenView Operations, OpenView Internet Services

While this category has ballooned to include IP address management and Web site management, in picking the winner we stuck with the basics of what constitutes network management and awarded HP's OpenView Network Node Manager, OpenView Operations and OpenView Internet Services the Best of the Tests honor.

In our early December 2005 test, Network World Lab Alliance member Barry Nance wrote that HP's framework express system excelled in network discovery, root-cause problem analysis, task automation, responsive and intuitive user interface, and scalability. In particular, Nance was impressed by HP's Advanced Intelligent Diagnosis for Networks, which he pointed out "was especially helpful in zeroing in on a specific device that was causing an outage or performance problem." The system's path-analysis capability earned kudos for helping pinpoint problems and performance degradations involving our test networks' pathways and linkages.

Nance also lauded the OpenView Internet Services module, which "excelled at tracking Web transaction-oriented [service-level agreement] violations." The system could note availability and response-time details from general Web access to particular e-mail commerce transactions, as well as send alerts when those SLA parameters were exceeded.

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Network Management finalists

Since our testing, HP has added to the OpenView portfolio. New OpenView Management Software, unveiled in early December, includes the OpenView Dashboard 1.0 (software for building a personalized, real-time view into the health of critical business and IT services); OpenView Business Process Insight 2.0 (monitors and reports business process health and predefined metrics); OpenView Service Desk integration (designed for closed-loop operations to reduce costs and automate IT response to business needs); and OpenView Short Engagement Services (onsite consulting services).

HP also made a few acquisitions at the tail end of 2005. It acquired Trustgenix to help bolster identity management within OpenView. With the Trustgenix technology, the company should extend the federation capabilities of HP OpenView so enterprise customers can give business partners secure access to information residing on different systems, HP says.

With its acquisition of Peregrine Systems, HP picked up technology for asset tracking, process automation, enterprise discovery and business continuity and consolidation management.

FUTURE TESTS: We are always interested in network analysis software. We also plan to test WAN acceleration/optimization products, and desktop and server configuration management tools.

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Last Modified: March 9, 2008