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December 5, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

In two separate announcements, Hewlett-Packard Co, and then IBM Corp and Digital Equipment Corp, last month said they would, as expected, convert their closely-related Unix network management environments for Microsoft Corp’s Windows NT. The three also plan to integrate Microsoft’s forthcoming Hermes system for managing personal computers into their network management software, thereby combining many network and systems management functions. Indeed, Hewlett-Packard believes personal computers are the least managed devices on the network, but people want to do systems management from there. Sun Microsystems Inc, which has its own network management ticket, looks like being the net loser in this joining of network management minds. Hewlett-Packard plans an enhanced version of its existing OpenView for Windows package by mid-1994 that supports Microsoft’s Windows Open Services Architecture, and a single OpenView architecture for Windows, NT and Unix by the end of next year. NT includes a Simple Network Management Protocol agent that enables OpenView to manage NT nodes. OpenView for Windows runs on the client and can be managed by Unix-based HP OpenView systems. New enhancements will enable event-forwarding and passing of alarm conditions between OpenView-based Windows, NT and Unix consoles. Network Node Manager-type functionality, Hewlett-Packard says, will enable developers to move OpenView Windows applications to OpenView NT. By the end of next year, OpenView in all its guises will include a common repository for all management information that will provide a single network topology. Hewlett-Packard will take OpenView for Windows (until now an OEM product) and OpenView for NT through some 12,000 personal computer local net resellers next year, and is currently compiling a new distributor-authorised reseller channel that will carry OpenView for Unix from early next year.

A bit more legitimacy

IBM and DEC are doing pretty much the same, saying that they will put NetView/6000 and Polycenter respectively up under NT and bring personal computer management, via Hermes, into their network management offerings. IBM and DEC joined forces on network management earlier this year when DEC decided to adopt NetView as its own product – Polycenter – which in turn is based on parts of Hewlett-Packard’s OpenView (Network Node Manager and Network Management server) that IBM licensed back in 1991. IBM and DEC say that future implementations will be released simultaneously and derive from the same source code: DEC says it will provide a path up to Polycenter for DECmcc users. Observers say the announcements give NT Advanced Server just that bit more legitimacy, given that users aren’t going to deploy it in any quantity until next year, when certain key server elements become available. DEC and IBM Networking Systems Division have also announced the details of the NetView Association, formed in August. Born out of a merger between IBM’s NetView/6000 Association and DEC’s PolyCenter Partners program, the Association is intended to support independent network and systems developers incorporating the functions of NetView/6000 and DEC’s PolyCenter on NetView Manager. The Association says that it will provide free services for developers including attendance at its Annual Technical Forum; Application Programming Interface training; product qualification testing; a Machine Availability Programme; a Software Training Programme; inclusion in the Association Catalogue; and technical support.

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