SAN MATEO (02/04/2000) - AS THE E-COMMERCE market matures, tools for managing the e-commerce infrastructure are becoming increasingly important.
Hewlett-Packard's announcement of its HP OpenView VantangePoint IT management suite last week marks only the latest attempt to assist brick-and-mortar companies as they cautiously ease into the e-commerce world.
"This is an area that traditional [network and systems management] vendors haven't really focused on in the past," said Stephen Elliot, an analyst at the Gartner Group, in Lowell, Mass. "[But] in any e-business, there are mission-critical networks and mission-critical Web applications. Performance and availability are the drivers."
Simultaneously with the announcement that HP is rebranding its OpenView IT/Operations product line as HP OpenView VantagePoint, the company announced enhancements including three modes of operation: Business-Driven Intelligence, Instant Intelligence, and Active Intelligence. The modes offer the creation of service maps and policy tools to automate the enterprise's services and a threshold-based response capability to address unexpected changes and problems in the system.
In a similar vein, at ComNet 2000, NetScout released WebCast 3.1, a Web-based reporting tool providing Web-based "newspaper-style" reports of enterprise application and network performance.
Elliot predicted that in the near future, network management vendors may move toward a service-oriented MSP (Management Service Provider) model. MSPs would offer a back-end, hands-off approach for dot-com customers not interested in managing their own infrastructures.
"The enterprise has gotten extremely competitive. You have to be a mega-vendor to have a good position in it, so everyone is looking at the service provider market as a good opportunity," Elliot said.
BMC Software is already leaning in that direction with its BMC Software OnSite program. The branding certification program gives Web site operators using BMC's Patrol management products performance guarantees.
Daryl Stearn, director of systems infrastructure at online luxury retailer Ashford.com, in Houston, said BMC's Onsite program monitors his company's Web site on Windows NT and Microsoft Internet Information Server both locally and from a remote location.
"We weren't really monitoring the Web site before except [with] a guy sitting at home and pushing the reset button from the browser," Stearn said.
Hewlett-Packard Co., in Palo Alto, Calif., is at www.hp.com. NetScout, in Westford, Mass., is at www.netscout.com. BMC Software, in Houston, is at www.bmc.com.
Managing the Web
Vendors are planning tools for managing e-commerce installations.
* HP OpenView VantagePoint, which runs on Unix or Microsoft Windows platforms, will ship in April. Pricing is from $20,000* NetScout's WebCast 3.1 is currently available and priced at $4,495* BMC Software has released software as part of its OnSite Program for managing mainframe-based e-commerce infrastructures. Pricing starts at $86,000