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Alternatives to HP Open View

October 20, 2016

Alternatives to HP Open View

This post is also available in: Spanish


HP OpenView overview

HP OpenView is not one product but a range of over 50 software products dedicated to administrative problem-solving in IT departments. It isn’t a single piece of software but a whole suite of different tools to handle the administration of system-performance and availability. The suite has been assembled piecemeal over the decades by HP buying up different pieces of software and consolidating them under the OpenView (now rebranded as HP-OM) umbrella.

Open View’s 1980’s interface design seems to suggest it was created according to the Unix philosophy of the time. Anyone who’s ever seen an X-based management interface knows what that means:

alternatives to hp openview

Network Node Manager (NNM) was the first product from the suite to be launched, in the mid-80’s. The autodiscovery algorithm it used was quickly sold to Tivoli (IBM’s competitor at the time).

HP Operations Center was the next to arrive, at the end of the 80’s, as an add-on intended to provide server and application monitoring and management, and adding the possibility of accessing systems via RPC, rather than solely via SNMP.

In 1995, Operations Center and NNM were the next to be integrated due to the popularity of the former. The first integrated version was ITO v3.x, which became the foundation of what we could come to know as OpenView. These days the number of products under the OpenView umbrella has grown to over 50.

Since then Hewlett Packard has bought up a plethora of smaller companies, integrating their software into OpenView, which, in 2007, was rebranded as HP Operations Manager.

HP Openview competitors

Patrol, Tivoli and Spectrum have traditionally been considered as OpenView’s competitors, due to their being all of a similar size. However, there are other, and smaller, alternatives which can apport better solutions at a lower price, and which are more agile when it comes to installation and adapting to dynamic environments.

So far we’ve drawn a few comparisons between different monitoring applications but on this occasion a purely technical comparison would be too in-depth, so let’s limit ourselves to a comparing and contrasting of architecture.

alternatives to hp openview

Alternative to HP Openview: Pandora FMS

A single piece of software with only one license as opposed to the agglomeration of multiple, separately-licensed pieces which HP OpenView represents.

If we’re talking about monitoring, Pandora FMS unifies a set of functions in one tool which OpenView, on the other hand, needs the following list of elements (all licensed separately) to perform:

• HP OpenView Network Node Manager (OV NNM) – Network monitoring.
• HP Operations Manager (OM) – Systems and applications monitoring via agents.
• HP OpenView Performance Agent (OVPA) – Agent.
• HP OpenView Performance Insight (OVPI) – Agent.
• HP OpenView Performance Manager (OVPM) – Agent.
• HP OpenView Reporter (OVR) – WEB reporting system.
• HP OpenView GlancePlus – Diagnostics and data-collection tool.
• HP Software Business Availability Center (BAC) – Made up of 13 different products, includes BAM, user experience and more.
• HP Software SiteScope (SiS) – Agentless application-performance monitoring.
• HP Service Information Portal (SIP) – End-user tool, offers WEB views of data generated by OpenView. Customizable views for each user (client) built from data collected by different HP applications: OVO, OVSN, NNM, OVIS, OVPM, OVPI, Reporter.
• HP OpenView Internet Services (OVIS) – A simple interface for internet-related services. Includes a WEB dashboard for operators.

Any SPI we want to integrate into the HP suite has to be bought, licensed and integrated separately: Oracle, Sybase, DB2, SQL, AD, Exchange, Citrix, VMware, WebSphere, PeopleSoft, WebLogic, etc. On the contrary, Pandora FMS includes all these functions as plugins which are included in the license.

On the other hand, OpenView includes some elements which Pandora FMS doesn’t:

– Data Center Automation
– Storage management
– Configuration management
– Universal CMDB
– Service Desk
– Transaction analysis

These last go beyond the scope of monitoring and enter into the sphere of administration and infrastructure management, where HP excels, composed as it is of hundreds of distinct subproducts (whereas Pandora FMS is a strictly monitoring tool).

The size and complexity of HP’s suite is beyond dispute, although this makes it difficult to implement, and also extremely costly. For high-complexity eco-systems where NNM, OM, OVPA, OVPI, OVR, BAC, SIP, OVIS, SiteScope, are all requirements HP’s suite is there to ensure that all are integrated. On the downside, this requires a lot of consultation and is a challenge for any team in charge of managing this unwieldy behemoth.

Lower cost, the same functions and better scaled; enough reason to try Pandora FMS?

It’s possible to achieve the same results with Pandora FMS as with HP, but at a fraction of the cost, both in terms of licensing and complexity. Designed in 2005 and in constant evolution ever since, Pandora FMS hails from a time when both Linux and the internet had established themselves, as had other concepts such as virtualization, or heterogeneous and decentralized environments which today represent the norm. All this makes it much more streamlined and better-integrated than HP’s suite.

Pandora FMS has successfully replaced HP in various large-scale, high-complexity environments thanks to its simple premise: the same functionality, lower cost and less complexity. These success stories speak to Pandora FMS’s viability as an alternative to HP OpenView.

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