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HP Proposes Standard For Web-Services Management

The proposed spec would let many parties supply mointoring and management services through common interfaces.
Hewlett-Packard is proposing a management framework for Web services that would let multiple parties supply monitoring and management services through common interfaces.

The result, HP spokesmen say, would be to let Web-services management develop quickly along a predictable path. "We've tried to be straight and as fair as possible" in drafting the proposal, says Joe McGonnell, director of marketing for OpenView in HP's Web Services Management unit.

HP has submitted its proposal to Oasis, the industry standards consortium. It will be reviewed by its Web Services Distributed Management technical committee, formed last March.

The group supporting the HP approach to Web-services management includes several industry leaders, such as BEA Systems, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Tibco Software--but not one of HP's chief rivals in the field, IBM.

"IBM is very active on the Web Services Distributed Management Committee. They've not agreed to support (HP's) Web Services Management Framework. But they've not offered their own," notes McGonnell.

Other supporters of the HP proposal include Iona Technologies and Ascential Software.

The management framework for Web services will give HP's OpenView network-management system, BMC Software's Patrol, and other managements systems a means of gathering information from the mix of hardware and software systems supplying Web services. And they would give the small companies that have taken a lead in the field a way to gear their future offerings so that they'll work together, said McGonnell.

A spokesman for one of those small companies, Actional Corp., says his firm was examining the proposal for the first time this week as it was posted to HP's Web site. "We don't see any advantage shifting to HP with this specification," says Ken Rutsky, VP of product marketing.

HP's proposal offers a way to team hardware and software so that it yields crucial information for managing Web services. Agents would be built into systems that collect and report information, an attribute common to today's system- and network-management systems. But unlike existing system management, Web-services management would include a bidirectional information flow, with directions on what action to take next flowing back to the agent, says Mark Linesch, VP of adaptive enterprise strategies at HP. The agent might be directed to provide additional information or take some corrective action to a problem, he says.