PLATFORMS: Windows NT 4.0 and higher. Support for Digital AlphaServers.

BACKGROUND: MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading provider of local-to-global communication services to business, government and residential users. MCI operates one of the world's largest and most advanced digital networks, connecting local markets in the U.S. to hundreds of locations worldwide. MCI's Business Markets Finance Operation (BMFO) is responsible for MCI revenue reporting, financial planning and internal commissions. The BMFO LAN management department must ensure that the users have constant access to their file servers, print servers and connectivity to the LAN and to the Internet.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The Business Markets Finance Operation users require access to files, printers and the Internet, both in Atlanta and remotely. During the first two weeks of each month, heavy LAN usage occurs as the group closes the books for MCI. If the servers go down, then files, printers or share access becomes unavailable and deadlines could be missed. HP OpenView ManageX has been a primary contributor to MCI's LAN management group being able to meet and exceed their service level management goal of 99.9 percent uptime. No unplanned downtimes have occurred. The LAN administrators have been able to spend much more of their time proactively addressing issues, instead of reacting to a call from a user who can't print or access files.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Each month, the Business Markets Finance group must close the financial books, report financial results, calculate and report internal commissions and update business planning. These functions are critical, and the high-dollar professionals that do this work need to be able to walk in their office or dial remotely and have access to files and printers and attach to the network or Internet. If a server goes down, tens of thousands of dollars are lost in productivity and financial deadlines are at risk. To provide support for 99.9 percent uptime, having the right data about the servers was key. The LAN administrators wanted to know if there were issues with the servers, so they could proactively do something instead of having a user call and say the LAN is down. Prior to implementing HP OpenView ManageX, there was no way to centrally view and administer each Windows NT node and application across the network or to consolidate NT event logs and automatically restart NT services when they were down.

STRENGTHS: HP OpenView ManageX has been a primary contributor to MCI's LAN management group being able to meet and exceed their service level management goal. HP OpenView ManageX is simple to use and easily deploys to a highly distributed Windows NT environment. NT administrators have been able to spend much more of their time proactively addressing issues.

WEAKNESSES: HP OpenView ManageX does not have an elegant reporting capability and needs more management policies for applications outside of Microsoft BackOffice.

SELECTION CRITERIA: MCI chose HP OpenView ManageX for its strengths in: 1) critical real-time health status information easily delivered to the LAN administrators at a central console; 2) ease of installation and use; and 3) Microsoft Management Console compliant and DCOM based.

DELIVERABLES: HP OpenView ManageX delivers 99.9 percent uptime or greater to the Business Markets Finance Operation team at MCI. LAN Administrators are not "fighting fires," instead they are being proactive on information about their servers from a central location.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support for HP OpenView ManageX has been quick and effective with no complaints on service or efficiency.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is just as easy to understand as the product itself. Implementation of HP OpenView ManageX is so simple that administrators can immediately benefit from its management functionality.

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