DeveloperWorks Live: IBM animated about autonomics

NEW ORLEANS – IBM elaborated on its vision of autonomic computing Thursday with a series of announcements it hopes will make self-healing computer systems a reality.

At its annual DeveloperWorks Live conference held here this

week, the company released what called the industry’s first blueprint of autonomic computing systems, a set of technical guidelines to ensure the various pieces of the self-managing systems puzzle work together, regardless of their source.

Autonomic computing will enable IT departments to rebuild their data centres, IBM officials said, and become more efficient.

By adding autonomic capabilities, which are being built into all products developed by Tivoli, companies can simplify the management of their environments and reduce the number of people who maintain them, said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of Tivoli Software.

“”It’s no longer good enough for IT systems to take months to respond to what’s going on in the business,”” LeBlanc said. “”And you can’t afford to ‘overbuild’ for what might happen. Today’s systems have to be flexible enough to cope with those change (on the fly).””

Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking firm based in New York City, was experiencing nightmarish scheduling problems in its data centre, according to its managing director of technology, David Reilly, who addressed developers and customers at the conference.

“”Scheduling is core to the data centre,”” said Reilly. “”If we can’t get information to our brokerage businesses on time, our competitors will.””

Last year, the company installed Tivoli Workload Scheduler, after evaluating 13 competitive products.

“”We used to spend half our time trying to start jobs, as opposed to having the jobs actually run. Tivoli gives us the predictive ability we need and we can now guarantee we can open on time every day.””

LeBlanc said by employing autonomic technologies, companies can not only have a better picture of what’s going in their organizations, but they will be able to respond faster to problem – in some cases, before they even occur.

For example, under the traditional model of systems management, problems were resolved on a first in/first out model, said LeBlanc.

“”The new model is about addressing the thing that has the most impact on your business,”” he said. “”That’s the problem that needs to be dealt with first.””

One way to take the complexity out of systems management, said Herb vanHook, executive vice-president of Meta Group, is to look for products with “”immunity.”” These are technologies that mitigate software and hardware defects. He also said IT departments will need to become less reactive and more proactive if they wa

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