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Tivoli extends autonomic capabilities, ups ante for ISVs

IBM continues its on-demand push with announcements Wednesday of new Tivoli management software, including an autonomic monitoring engine, and will offer up the technology to ISVs.

Continuing an aggressive push to prove it's in the driver's seat when it comes to on-demand computing, IBM on Wednesday will announce new Tivoli management software, including autonomic monitoring technology. IBM will make the announcement at its DeveloperWorks Live conference in New Orleans.

These additional offerings clearly put IBM at the forefront of an industry push to provide users with computers that essentially monitor themselves, experts say. Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have both recently announced on-demand initiatives, both of which include autonomic computing as one major component. Last month, Microsoft Corp. also joined the fray by disclosing its own autonomic plan, Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). DSI creates an architecture that is based on a set of code called the systems definition model (SDM), which essentially provides an XML blueprint for deploying and managing applications.

IBM's new products fall across all three areas of IBM Tivoli software – systems management, security and storage management – and are designed to reduce the complexity of integrated, heterogeneous environments, the company said. The new offerings also help ISVs extend intelligent management and autonomic capabilities to their customers.

At the center of the announcement is the Tivoli Autonomic Monitoring Engine, which captures, analyzes and correlates key metrics to automatically detect resource outages and potential problems before they impact system performance or end-user experience. The monitoring engine has embedded self-healing technology to allow systems to automatically recover from critical situations.

Probably the most important component of this announcement however, and an indicator of how aggressive IBM is in this push, say analysts, is that the Tivoli Autonomic Monitoring Engine allows ISVs to develop applications that deliver self-healing autonomic functionality out of the box. With support for any platform, IBM partners will be able to use the software now to link their products to IBM Tivoli Monitoring and to other autonomic IBM products later this year.

In addition, IBM will share the application programming interfaces (APIs) of the Tivoli Enterprise Data Warehouse, a repository of systems management data and best practices based on IBM's DB2 database software. This move allows ISVs to mine the data warehouse for tools that can be integrated into their applications.

The announcement is potentially quite important, because it's the combination of two major IBM initiatives," said Paul Mason, group vice president for infrastructure software at International Data Corp., the Framingham, Mass.-based research firm. "One initiative is autonomic computing," he said. "The other part is that IBM is aggressively attempting to take ISVs into the fold."

Mason said that IBM wants to position itself as a supplier of this important infrastructure that ISVs can build their products upon. If ISVs buy into this, the end user will benefit by not having to worry about support for several different infrastructure components.

As part of the overall Tivoli announcements, IBM will also be rolling out support in Tivoli Configuration Manager for two major application installation software vendors, Wise Solutions Inc. and InstallShield Software Corp. Together, the integrations automate the process of installing and distributing virtually any commercial application across an enterprise using Tivoli Configuration Manager.

Among other new products on tap from Big Blue are SRM Express, a desktop storage resource management (SRM) product, application support for WebSphere 5.0, Linux agents for SAN Manager and zLinux support for Tivoli Storage Manager. Tivoli will also support subsystem provisioning via the Bluefin specification and reporting capabilities at the file system level.


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