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Industry analysis by Beth Schultz, plus the latest news headlines.
HP earlier this week took the wraps off Network Management Center (NMC) 9.1, which includes support for multitenant clouds, more automated performance management capabilities and the ability to managed unified communications environments, among other key updates.
It's a "long list of stuff" that HP has going on with this 9.1 release, says Jim Frey, managing research director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). "Some of the new capabilities are good, practical features that allow HP to maintain pace with what others are doing in the industry and others are filling in the gaps," he adds.
The multitenancy management capabilities are particularly noteworthy -- not only for managed service providers with cloud offerings but also enterprise IT shops that are embracing internal private cloud models, Frey says.
"As internal service providers, IT organizations will need monitoring tools that allow them to see what's going on with key resources and services for lines of business in a separated, section-by-section, controlled, secure basis in much the same way that an external managed service provider would be doing for its customers," he says.
Granted, only between 25% and 30% of organizations are ready for this now, according to EMA research, Frey says. "But the thing is, the internal cloud forces you to act like a service provider and do things on a service-oriented basis, and when you get there, HP now has the features you'll need," he adds.
With the 9.1 updates, HP completes the re-architecture of the network management tool suite it began five years ago, notes Ashish Kuthiala, director of NMC product marketing at HP Software.
"We understood that customer environments needed to do fault monitoring, availability, performance, change, configuration, compliance, diagnostics, trending and reporting across advanced network services, so what we've done is brought all of that into a single platform that lets you do all of this in an automated, efficient and secure manner and that also ties into our business service management offering," he describes.
"The HP suite isn't going to be best of breed in any individual area," Frey says, "but collectively, it's impressive."
Plus, the new architecture, which mostly came to life in last April's 9.0 release, has had "time to bake," he adds. "The cake been out there for a while, and now they might be more comfortable and ready to ice it."
Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.