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Hewlett-Packard announced the launch of HP Network
Management Center version 9.1, adding additional features for managed service
providers, cloud computing and unified communications management.

For MSPs, HP has introduced multi-tenancy capability and
security groups that allow users to separate data and views into secure
partitions. MSPs can manage multiple clients, departments or sites within the
software console, allowing them the ability to manage 25,000 devices or up to
two million interfaces from a single server.

NMC 9.1 also now supports cloud computing environments
whether public, private or hybrid. From within a single console, users can
manage availability, performance, configuration and compliance across
multi-vendor networks. Also incorporated in NMC 9.1 are features to manage
unified communications and collaboration network environments from a single

The software’s data retention capabilities have been
expanded, allowing for up to 13 months of data to allow IT to analyze trends
and forecast network usage.

The upgrades to NMC 9.1 will expand sales opportunities
for solution providers, according to Alex Ryals, Chief Technology Officer of
Pepperweed Consulting, a Pittsburg, Pa.-based solution provider specializing in
HP software implementations.

“This gives us additional sales opportunities that we didn’t
have in the past and a slightly different target audience,” he said. In
particular, the multi-tenancy capabilities will make it more attractive to
managed service providers.

“The one thing that we’ve had a difficult time in the past
with is selling to MSPs. We have done it and we’ve implemented it in many MSP
environments but it requires a pretty significant investment for an MSP because
of the cost of all of the hardware,” he said. “They didn’t have the ability to
have multi-tenancy before.”

Being able to manage more customers’ networks on fewer
servers, he said, helps MSPs and fledgling MSPs do more without having to spend
as much on hardware. “Now with a single box we can now do what used to take
multiple boxes, using a multi-tenant deployment. It saves costs. I think we
have a new way to go after the MSP market that we have not in the past.”

Its features are also a boon to customers looking to
leverage the cloud or unified communications, he said, and across industries.

“This applies to almost every vertical. It’s hard to tie
down a particular customer it applies to because everybody has a network, and
everyone has to manage that network,” Ryals said.

“We try to play into the Fortune 2000 because Network Management
Center is a very scalable product, it has a lot of capability and a lot of
features, and large Fortune 2000 companies have the largest networks in the world.
That’s where network manager can play the best,” he said. “But you can also
sell it to the 100-user company.”