February 13, 2001, 5:14 PM — GROOVE NETWORKS, THE peer-to-peer startup founded by Lotus Notes inventor Ray Ozzie, is developing a central console for its upcoming platform that will allow enterprises to manage a range of IT-related services.
The Beverly, Mass.-based company will not be making any formal announcements at this week's The O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference in San Francisco, but Ozzie said that Groove is building in capabilities that address IT's concerns about security and control.
"We can't expect enterprises to support our product without this [management] software," Ozzie said. "In deference to the enterprises, we can't expect them to just introduce chaos into their organizations. We have to be respectful of the way enterprises evaluate and deploy software," Ozzie said.
Expected to be included in the first release of the product by the end of the first quarter, the management services software subsystem will allow administrators to set security policies for their organizations, administer software licenses to individual users, and manipulate names within a directory.
Groove will sell the management services software on a per-seat basis, according to Ozzie, charging users depending on how many services they want or need. Groove will offer other centralized services, such as its Relay Service for synchronizing Groove client software, installation, and component hosting, over its Web site and charge on a pay-per-usage basis.
Ozzie said the management software should gives companies a balance between autonomy for end-users on the edge of the network and control to IT administrators.
Ultimately, the console will link into SNMP-based network management platforms such as Tivoli's, where in some cases it can serve as a complement
"There are aspects to our management console that are very specific to our product that you can't do in central environment systems. Most of these central systems are conceptualized around asset management," Ozzie said. Groove's management console is built around usage, with tools for managing end-users and security policies, he said.
Groove will sell management services on an "N-dollar, per seat basis," according to Ozzie, depending on the number services they want or need.
After the product's first release to early customers in the first quarter of this year, a general availability version will ship around mid-year.
By the end of the year, Groove will start rolling out enhancements to the commercial client.