IBM Tivoli Tools to Simplify IT Management

BOSTON—The rapid increase in the complexity and speed of change in businesses’ IT infrastructures, coupled with growing compliance requirements, is fueling a steep rise in operational costs and driving the need for better overall management, according to Al Zollar, general manager of IBM’s Tivoli Software Group.

Speaking at the Share user conference here Tuesday morning, Zollar said IBM is on the verge of rolling out a series of Tivoli products designed to give users simpler and centralized management capabilities that can reach from the hosted environments of IBM’s mainframes to the distributed platforms of its RISC and x86 offerings.

“Today, if you’ve had a harrowing day, it’s a good day in IT,” Zollar said. “We are faced with a ton of challenges with managing complexity [and] managing the amount of change.”

Over the next few months, IBM will release a host of new management tools—based in part on technology acquired through its acquisitions of Candle Corp. last year and Isogon Corp. this year—that will further Big Blue’s vision of managing IT like a business, less reliant on specific technology tools and more on business processes, Zollar said.

The rollout of the IT Service Management products in the fourth quarter and into early next year is part of a larger plan by IBM to become a “full-service provider” for IT management, Zollar said. The Armonk, N.Y., company will spend more than $1 billion over the next two years investing in Tivoli products to grow what Zollar described as a “diverse and broad portfolio.”

IBM is updating the Omegamon XE products acquired from Candle for the next z9 mainframe, introduced last month, as well as other platforms, he said. In addition, the company is enhancing the Tivoli System Automation, NetView and Monitoring products for greater interoperability across the diverse platforms, and is rolling out the Tivoli Enterprise Portal to give users a single place to manage both their mainframe and distributed environments.

The focus of the new and enhanced products on the mainframe environments is particularly important, Zollar said.

“This is a demonstration of Tivoli’s continued and renewed investment in the zSeries,” he said. “We’re committed to making this server an end-to-end part of system management.”

IBM introduced the z9, the newest mainframe system, last month, with greater performance and virtualization capabilities. Once given up for dead, mainframes have continued to generate revenue for IBM. At the Share conference, many partners, including Computer Associates International Inc. and Software AG, are touting their mainframe capabilities.

Click here to read more about the enhancements IBM has made to its zSeries.

For zSeries users, the new Tivoli Enterprise Portal brings a streamlined and simplified management environment and a graphical view of their z/OS environments.

“You don’t have to look at the green screens anymore,” Zollar said.

The portal will ship with z/OS, he said.

Zollar also spoke of the Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database offering, which features a workflow engine and configuration management capabilities for DB2 in an open and federated environment.

On top of the database offering, IBM also will roll out IT Service Management Process Managers, a series of tools for such tasks as service-level, workload, security and information lifecycle management. The first of these eight managers will appear in the first half of 2006, with the rest rolling out later in the year and into early 2007, Zollar said.

In addition to the list of Omegamon and Tivoli products set for release in the coming months, IBM also is working on Tivoli offerings that will manage SOAs (service-oriented architectures). The products will support not only IBM’s WebSphere products, but also BEA Systems Inc.’s WebLogic and Microsoft Corp.’s .Net offerings. It also will offer automated alerts and workflows.

Zollar also announced a reseller agreement with Vanguard Integrity Professionals Inc., of Las Vegas, to bring more security management capabilities to the Tivoli portfolio. Included in the agreement are Vanguard Administrator, for management and analysis, and Vanguard Analyzer, which audits security in the z9.

“These are some of the capabilities we’ve heard many of our customers say they need,” he said.

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