HP debuts Automated Operations 1.0

With Automated Operations, HP offers a new way to deliver IT operations.

In its post US$1.6 billion Opsware acquisition reverie, HP is talking about a new way to do IT operations, and competing with IBM, BMC and CA. The company introduced Automated Operations 1.0 today, which integrates products from HP OpenView, Peregrine, Mercury and Opsware.

HP is eschewing the popular 2.0 designation for its Automated Operations solutions and revitalization of its enterprise software business. "We are referring to all previous generations as something less than automated, more manual, ad hoc and poorly coordinated," said Ben Horowitz, former CEO of Opsware and now vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization (BTO) Products at HP Software.

A cornerstone of the new offering is the Business Service Automation solution, which automates operations and orchestrates processes across systems and teams. In addition, HP has a new version of its IT Service Management solution with HP Service Manager 7.0

Horowitz is not claiming any autonomic capabilities, as IBM does, for version 1.0. "Autonomic implies that a system knows how to fix itself," he said. "We think in 2007 it is still a fantasy. We are taking things people are already doing and automate them, such as patching a server, or putting in systems to control the whole view. IBM's 'heal itself' is kind of like IBM building a machine that spits out full functioning automobile. We take way of building cars today and add robotics to build them faster and more efficiently. If you want to change any element, you just change the tooling of one part rather than rebuild whole autonomic machine.” HP appears to have a goal of doing more than generate more revenue than IBM.

In reality, IBM's IT automation initiatives, including autonomic computing features, are much closer to HP's Automated Operations 1.0. IBM makes similar claims to HP for it service management solutions. Horowitz claims that HP has best of breed products and a better integration strategy than its competitors. What's clear is that via some recent acquisitions, HP is fully engaged in the enterprise software business. HP Software revenue doubled year over year to US$698 million, an increase of 100 percent, in the last quarter.

Horowitz also took a shot at IBM's consulting focus. "We are doing over US$7 in license fees for every US$1 in services. It's not like IBM services sale. The products work out of the box and most deployments are weeks to a few months," he said.

This article was originally a blog post on ZDNet.com.

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