January 18, 2001, 9:43 AM — HP OPENVIEW SOFTWARE will gain a different look and could become easier to use and deploy next year as a result of Hewlett-Packard's announcement Monday that it has acquired a source-code license for RiverSoft's Network Management Operating System (NMOS) Version 3.
The new technology will be integrated into HP OpenView to increase the network management platform's automation and adaptability, with greater focus on providing improved Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) management capabilities, said Cristina Mahon, research and development manager for the Palo Alto-based company's HP OpenView unit.
Layer 2 is the network layer, in which data is routed from one node to another.
Mahon said OpenView users can expect bolstered QoS (quality-of-service) and SLA (service level agreement) capabilities through better management of Layer 2 components, which include switch management, ATM, frame relays, and other network appliance functions typically found below a system's IP layer. She admitted that the current form of HP OpenView, despite increased Layer 2 focus of Cisco device functionality, is lacking in broad, multi-vendor Layer 2 management.
HP's Mahon said the new version of OpenView with RiversSoft's NMOS integration will be generally available in the second half of next year.
In a network management market characterized by quick product cycles and the resultant confusion on the part of users, the announcement by Hewlett-Packard and San Francisco-based RiverSoft represents a move toward integrated and automated product sets designed for easier implementation, said analyst Dennis Drogsethat Enterprise Management Associates, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
"There's a tendency to look at frameworks as a lot of pieces and parts, and this is a story of integration and automation, which is exactly where the market is going and needs to go," Drogseth said. "(The new OpenView) is going to be more accurate, more flexible, and the functionality is such that it combines polling with an intelligent action database [and] you can create new objects through auto discovery."
Drogseth said the emerging model of network management, created in terms of an "organism" that can respond and adapt to change and even learn, will address network connectivity issues and help bridge the gap between applications and the network.