HP management software users will now be able to incorporate Layer 3 routing information in their network management.The company last week at its annual HP Software Forum user conference unveiled the fruit of an OEM agreement HP inked last year with route analytics vendor Packet Design. HP OpenView Route Analytics Management System (RAMS) is software bundled on a server that passively monitors traffic and packets to track routing in enterprise networks, HP says.RAMS is expected to be used in concert with OpenView's cornerstone monitoring software Network Node Manager (NNM), soon to be released in Version 7.5, which includes new features such as tight integration with the new routing analytics product."Network managers need to track both Layer 2 and Layer 3 data to get a complete picture of their network," says Bill Emmett, chief solutions manager of HP's management software organization. "Now using RAMS with Network Node Manager, OpenView customers can get the Layer 2 device view as well as the Layer 3 protocol view."Emmett echoed HP presentations that explained how network management has evolved to care about the services running on the network more than the network at a device level. Yet optimizing the underlying network to support more and better services remains critical to HP customers.Klara Jelinkova, acting manager of operational integration and support at the University of Wisconsin, says she has watched priorities shift back to highly available, highly redundant networks to support data-intensive business processes and services to end users."Ten years ago it was all about the network - and that changed for a bit, but now again for us we need a network that we can push huge amounts of data across," Jelinkova says. "The network now more than before can be more tied to the business or organization's goals. I think it's an exciting time for network folks."Jelinkova says her organization uses NNM to monitor devices on their net, and she'd like to see HP perform better Layer 2 discovery and monitoring of the university's switch network and virtual LANs. She would also like to see more support for Spanning Tree. And she will be checking out the Layer 3 routing discovery and monitoring available with the new RAMS product.Pricing for the RAMS software starts at $25,000, while the server is priced separately. The product is scheduled for general availability by midsummer.