Tivoli touts 'end-to-end' management

IBM Tivoli software executives detailed how the management software arm of Big Blue plans to help all customers - from mainframe users to distributed network managers to IT service managers - more efficiently manage their IT infrastructure with integrated tools and best practices.

Attendees at this week's Share user group conference in Boston got an earful from Tivoli software executives promising to provide customers with the most complete performance and availability management products on the market. Alfred Zollar, general manager of Tivoli software, detailed in a keynote speech to attendees how the management software arm intends to bring best practices to its customers' IT shops. Zollar said IBM would spend some US$1 billion on management software in the next two years to help its customers tackle the challenges of managing complex computing environments that span legacy gear to application-centric computing such as service-oriented architectures (SOA).

"Beginning this year we've taken a different approach than Tivoli has taken in the past," Zollar said. "We are going to manage the IT service across multiple tiers of technology from mainframes to distributed to composite applications and we are going to help customers manage the complexity of management."

Tivoli in May announced its Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB), which Zollar referenced, as well as services and resources available online to help IBM customers get processes in place that align with frameworks such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). He said the CCMDB would integrate management data from multiple sources to provide a true "end-to-end" view of performance and availability. To help that along, Zollar said, Tivoli upgraded its mainframe monitoring tools with added integration among products as well as mainframe management integration into Tivoli Enterprise Portal software that would let IT managers consolidate consoles among management tools.

Specifically IBM, which IDC last week deemed the leader in performance and availability management with 18.5 percent market share, announced upgrades to more than a dozen Tivoli and Omegamon (management software acquired with Candle) monitoring products for mainframe platforms, including IBM System z9. All products are expected to start becoming generally available by the fourth quarter, with staggered release dates.

Also slated for future release is Tivoli Composite Application Management for SOA. The product would also be integrated with Tivoli Enterprise Portal, and support WebSphere, Microsoft .Net and BEA WebLogic platforms. Zollar remained sparse with product details, but said the software would allow IT managers to be able to see metrics such as the average response of a Web service, for example, on their own computing environments but also on other environments with the help of Tivoli Federated Identity Manager. The software will use Web Services Navigator to monitor service flows and relationships for developers using Tivoli Data Warehouse Data.

IBM executives have said the company invests about US$1 billion per year in its SOA technologies and services, and Zollar re-emphasized the importance of Tivoli being on top of the newest technologies and providing management capabilities to customers.

"As the build out of [SOAs] happens, it's a very important set of capabilities for Tivoli," Zollar said.

IBM's foray into SOA management software follows HP's June announcement of its own OpenView SOA Manager software product.

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Denise Dubie

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