Compaq Computer Corp today releases a new version of its system management software, which it says enables network administrators to manage their hardware over the internet for the first time. The new software, Insight Manager XE, includes built-in support for WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management) agents; a way of using the HTTP protocol to manage systems, […]
Compaq Computer Corp today releases a new version of its system management software, which it says enables network administrators to manage their hardware over the internet for the first time. The new software, Insight Manager XE, includes built-in support for WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management) agents; a way of using the HTTP protocol to manage systems, hardware and applications through a standard browser. The WBEM initiative was established earlier this year by more than 50 vendors including Compaq, Cisco Systems Inc, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp (CI No 3,180). Ed Reynolds, Compaq’s director of product planning for management business solutions, said the previous version of Insight Manager offered some internet capabilities, but they were very limited. He said: You could use the internet to access a list of what was being managed by the software, but you couldn’t actually manage any of the individual devices over a browser, you had to be there in person. But having WBEM agents embedded in Insight Manager XE means that network administrators can effectively manage hardware – both network (any SNMP-compliant device) and desktop (any DMI- compliant device) – from any remote location. To access the management data, the administrator has to enter a user name and password. Individual products are designated their own web page and from there users can drill down and pull off specific management information. Compaq has also added a new feature, called Action Oriented Management, that enables managers and administrators to group devices by the type of alert signal they’re going to give off. For example, a user can specify the software to show hardware with pre-fail alerts on a disk drive, and so on. Then a user can program the software to send an email to the relevant reseller to make sure he or she sends the required number of disk drives by a certain time. Traditionally, administrators have had to wait for devices to show a red fault signal and then fix them on a one-by-one basis. Unlike the older version, Insight Manager XE works with all third party hardware, not just Compaq’s and the equipment doesn’t have to be WBEM- enabled. The technology in the software is able to intelligently pool the management information, in SNMP or DMI format, and store it in a format that can be accessed over the web. But its one real failing is its lack of support for application management, which means users will still be running network/desktop management separately from application management. But Reynolds did say that Compaq intends to ship another version of Insight Manager, which includes support for BMC Software Inc’s WBEM agent for Windows NT, by the end of the year. Already, Tivoli Systems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Computer Associates have announced WBEM agents that enable their systems management software to manage NT over the internet. Compaq starts running a public beta for Insight Manager XE today, available to between two and three thousand of its customers for the next three months. After that, the software will be shipped as standard on all Compaq servers and workstations. At first, Compaq will offer consulting and installation services for the software, but Reynolds hinted that the company would also offer the software as part of an outsourced service, to be announced sometime in the near future.