July 23, 2012, 1:56 PM — Hewlett-Packard has reorganized its suite of enterprise configuration-management software, collecting into one package a number of its asset discovery tools and equipping its asset database for multiclient service.
HP Configuration Management System (CMS 10), to be released this week, "simplifies the way our customers procure, deploy and use our discovery products," said Jimmy Augustine, an HP director of product marketing.
With this release, a number of different HP asset management tools have been bundled into a single package, called Universal Discovery.
Universal Discovery includes what was formerly called the Discovery and Dependency Mapping Inventory (DDMI). DDMI, an asset management software application, interrogates desktop computers and servers to collect inventory information, such as what operating system is running, how much storage the computer has, what programs are installed, and how often the computer is run. Such information is handy for license management, Augustine said.
Universal Discovery also folds in HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping (DDM), another asset tracking tool. This automated discovery tool maps dependencies, such as what servers and databases a software program relies upon. "It offers a picture of how things work together to offer a service," Augustine said. Universal Discovery also includes a passive discovery tool, one that monitors network traffic to report what virtual machines and other software are running, information potentially handy for managing cloud services.
Assembling these software tools in one package should simplify management for clients, or so goes HP's thinking. "Most of our clients have both DDMI and DMI so this simplifies the product structure for our clients," Augustine said. The aggregation is also designed to simplify data storage as well -- all the HP asset tools store the data they collect in a common database.
CMS 10's database, where all the operational data is stored, has been updated as well. The Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB) can now keep separate records for multiple business units. Such a feature, called multitenancy, is ideal "for large service providers," such as a SaaS (software as a service) provider or a Web hosting service, Augustine said. Clients can see "how your running their server environments in your data center," Augustine said.
"Initially, some of the large cloud service providers did not provide a lot of visibility into how they managed the infrastructure for their clients. Now, they are becoming a bit more open, and we believe that trend will only continue," Augustine said. Multitenancy could also be useful for large organizations, which could use the partitioning for contractors or different business units.