Inventory Review Index
It is fashionable for lean start-up software companies to bash large software corporations like HP. If you were to believe the marketing hype then you might be forgiven for thinking that HP Software solutions are archaic old dinosaurs ready to be put out to pasture – nothing could be further from the truth. I found HP’s inventory offering; Discovery and Dependency Mapping Inventory (HP DDMI) to be modern and relevant – but not without it’s limitations.
Infrastructure and Methodology
HP DDMI is a browser based inventory tool that is powered by web server and MySQL database. It has a modern look and feel with traditional ‘tree views’ of options and hierarchies.
DDMI includes the most configurable agent deployment and scanning options I have ever seen across a wide array of supported platforms. Configuration options include agent behaviour, agent impact, network and device protocols, data collected, and methods of deployment and network environment options.
It might be argued that most of these configuration options will be lost on the vast majority of organizations, but if you manage a very bespoke network or a highly secure environment these options may prove valuable.
HP DDMI V9.3 includes support for processing ISO / IEC 19770-2 SAM Standard Software Identification Tags. Whilst this is no great feat of software engineering I believe it is significant that an organization the size of HP is listening and responded to the market.
DDMI also includes a proprietary software library for recognizing software applications. At first glance DDMI does a good job at this, although not enough for full-blown license management. So an organization would need to use HP Asset Manager or another License Management facility if the primary interest in inventory was Software Asset Management.
Standalone versus Suite
The real limitation with DDMI is within reporting and analysis once data has been collected. DDMI only really becomes useful if an organization is fully committed to either HP Asset Manager or HP UCMDB, in which case it becomes a highly configurable data collector to feed these systems. Without these other components to hand, other competitors who offer more value overshadow DDMI.
DDMI is accompanied by HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping Advanced (HP DDMA), which provides detailed mapping of how all of the individual components within an IT environment are related. The scenario modeling and impact analysis are particularly useful to predict the impact of certain incidents, although competitors in this review provided better overviews of business services and were more intuitive and easy to use. HP DDMA uses the HP UCMDB as a central repository; so again, you need to be fully committed to HP to make full use of this technology.
|Product||HP Discovery & Dependency Mapping Inventory (HP DDMI)|
|Methodology||Agent or Agentless Discovery|
|In a nutshell||Highly configurable data collector for HP CMDB and Asset Manager|
|Primary Market Focus||
|Pricing Model||Not disclosed|
From the brochure:
“Discovery and Dependency Mapping Inventory (DDMI) provides information about IT managed assets.
It combines discovery with comprehensive hardware and software installation and usage data to support asset management, service management and configuration management solutions. “