Tivoli consolidates system management tools

IBM is streamlining its Tivoli software portfolio in order to simplify deployment for both customers and partners.

Earlier this week it introduced more than 30 new and enhanced Tivoli systems management products as part of its Business Impact Management Strategy, while consolidating several

tools into single multi-functional offerings.

Executives said the strategy is meant to help customers close the gap between business process results and manage multi-vendor infrastructures.

Audrey Rasmussen, vice-president of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates, said the streamlining is important because a lot of IT environments are heterogeneous. For example, a customer might have more than one database running, meaning it would need Tivoli Manager for DB2 and Tivoli Manager for Oracle. Now Tivoli offers IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Databases that works with DB2, Oracle and Informix.

“Now they get the whole thing in the whole package,” said Rasmussen. “More than anything else, it simplifies what the customer has to do to select products, and deployment-wise it’s much easier.”

This consolidation also highlights another shift for Tivoli — product names are now business process-oriented rather than technology centred. “I think it reflects Tivoli understanding what the needs of the market are,” said Rasmussen. “That’s really the name of the game. It’s not managing the infrastructure for infrastructure’s sake. It’s managing the infrastructure to enable business.”

The product releases include IBM Tivoli Service Level Advisor (SLA), designed to offer customers the ability to proactively predict outages based on performance analysis metrics and managed service levels.

“Service level management is developing in the industry where people are more attuned to managing the service levels rather than managing the infrastructure,”” said Rasmussen. “”Seeing that a router is out may or may not make a difference to the critical processes that are happening in the company.” By being able to manage service levels and being proactive, she said, organizations could circumvent outages.

“We’ve never had a function like that before, ” said Hugo Garcia, senior systems engineer with Tivoli Canada. For the most part, he said, customers react to problems. “Now we’re moving into predictive management.”

Also new is the IBM Tivoli Switch Analyzer, which discovers and analyses network layer 2 switches, which Rasmussen noted would now put Tivoli in competition with Hewlett-Packard.

Also significant, said Rasmussen, is IBM Tivoli Enterprise Data Warehouse, which is designed to take advantage of DB2 technology and capable of archiving systems management data from multiple vendors across a variety of domains. “This a core service,” said Garcia, “meaning it’s not a product and we don’t charge for it.” It will come embedded in the SLA product, he said. “It will be a central repository for all historic management data from Tivoli and third party tools as well.”

Beyond the new and upgraded products, Rasmussen said another good thing for customers is that Tivoli is becoming more tightly integrated with IBM. “For a long time Tivoli pretty much operated independently,” she said. “They are now leveraging being part of the IBM name.”

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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