With a bevy of vendors now providing plug-ins for Oracle's Enterprise Manager 10g, some Oracle partners say the the offering is more an on par with Hewlett-Packard's OpenView and IBM's Tivoli system management offerings than in the past.
This week, Oracle trotted out plug-ins from BEZ Systems, Citrix Systems, Egenera, Nortel Networks, Onaro and Pillar Data Systems. The plug-ins would facilitate Enterprise Manager's ability to monitor and track system performance of, say, Nortel's Application Switch or Citrix Presentation Server deployed in customer accounts.
As Oracle's product line has expanded organically and via acquisition, its database-centric Enterprise Manager has expanded as well, company executives said.
"We're trying to manage customer apps," said Will Scelzo, director of business development at Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle. "We'll manage our own stuff, of course, but we won't manage everything. And we're looking to partners there."
The news comes as Oracle, customers and partners continue to test the next release of the database, Oracle 11g. Partners expect 11g to launch this summer.
Oracle didn't fund development of outside plug-ins, although it created a program and resources to ease the process, Scelzo said.
Oracle builds and sells plug-ins for key third-party offerings such as Microsoft SQL Server, IBM's DB2, BEA's Weblogic, JBoss and Microsoft middleware, he said. The company features links to the third-party connectors on its Web site. The connectors are sold by their creators.
Scott Jenkins, CEO of The EBS Group, an Oracle solution provider based in Lenexa, Kan., said Enterprise Manager has seen a lot of traction in his accounts recently.
"It used to be that with Enterprise Manager, it was kind of, 'Who cares?', and real companies were using Tivoli to manage," Jenkins said. "But with the new Grid Control Enterpirse Manager, we've seen an abrupt about-face, and people are running with Enterprise Manager becoming the central management tool. That's what's driving these connectors."
"A year ago, [Enterprise Manager] was not competitive with Tivoli and OpenView. Today, it is," he added.
Mick Gallagher, CEO of LS Technologies, a Fallbrook Calif.-based Oracle partner, concurred. "EM has gotten real," he noted.
A third Oracle partner discounted such talk. "Enterprise Manager remains database-centric, and how many businesses really want to manage their whole business from the database?" said the partner, who requested anonymity.
HP and IBM typically position their system management wares as ideal for disparate and heterogeneous environments.
Oracle also creates "connectors" to its own and third-party applications. Connectors facilitate more of a two-way data flow between the target and the management console, whereas plug-ins typically funnel data from the target software to the manager.