Networking

HP Extends Asset Mapping Into Amazon, VMware Clouds

Hewlett-Packard has updated its Discovery and Dependency Mapping Advanced (DDMA) software package so it will allow administrators to map their IT assets in the cloud.

"When clients begin their journey to a hybrid cloud environment, we can help them," said Jimmy Augustine, a group marketing manager in HP's software division. The new cloud capabilities "give folks the required visibility they need to continue managing IT as a business."

HP Software's Content Pack 10 for DDMA, released Tuesday, includes connectors for tracking resources on both Amazon Web Services and those based on VMware's vCloud standard, such as Terremark's service.

DDMA probes a network and returns a description of all of the hardware and software -- collectively called resources or assets -- running on that network. The software can give details of the characteristics of anything that is connected to an IP (Internet Protocol) address, be it a server, application, router or database. It also provides pointers showing the dependencies of each asset, or the other assets that assets relies on.

This dependency mapping, as it is called, details how all these different assets interoperate, which can be useful for understanding how potential changes can impact system performance. It can also be used to figure out which departments are using which systems and applications, providing the base for setting up chargeback programs and other management tasks. The program generates service maps, which are charts showing all the resources and how they are connected. The data can also be exported to spreadsheets or as an XML file, for further machine processing.

The new content pack is HP's first step in extending these capabilities to cover cloud resources as well. DDMA can map all the resources in the cloud down to each virtual machine, using the management APIs (application programming interfaces) provided by Amazon and the VMware software. For instance, DDMA can generate specific service maps for Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute), Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) and Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS).

Keeping track of assets across both the internal network and a cloud service could be beneficial in a number of ways, Augustine said. A seasonal business may contract out with a cloud provider for extra capacity to meet heavy traffic. DDMA provides the blueprint to quickly replicate all the required resources in the cloud. The software could also help monitor cloud providers for compliance, assuring they are providing all the assets that were contracted for, and that they meet its service-level agreements.

Augustine would not comment on if HP will support any additional cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, with future releases, other than to say HP will respond to customer demand for such connections.

In addition to the new cloud capabilities, Content Pack 10 further boosts DDMA's capability in providing details on what resources reside on mainframe computers, particularly for the IBM iSeries servers. "Previously, we were able to discover the iSeries at a high level; now we can go in a much greater depth in terms of what characteristics and configurations make up that iSeries Box," Augustine said.

HP releases content packs for DDMA several times a year. Prior to Tuesday's release, the last pack was released in August. In terms of pricing, DDMA deployments start at about US$30,000 for coverage of 100 servers. The content packs are free for current customers.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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