In an effort to broaden the appeal of their offerings, Tivoli Systems and 3Com this week agreed to integrate and distribute each others' net and systems management products.
The nonexclusive arrangement will allow users to more easily control and distribute software to networked desktops, the companies said. It also will lower the cost of deploying Tivoli's TME 10 and 3Com's TranscendWare management products, they said.
"There is some effort required to visit large numbers of desktops" with software installations and the like, said Tim Bishop, vice president of infrastructure development for Tivoli. Adding Tivoli hooks to the installed base of 50 million 3Com network interface cards (NIC) will lower the cost of that effort, he said.
The agreement first calls for 3Com to ship Tivoli's management agent with 3Com's DynamicAccess NIC software. DynamicAccess provides desktops with class of service, Remote Monitoring, multicast and Fast IP services.
3Com also will utilise components of Tivoli's TME 10 Framework and TME 10 Software Distribution to update and enhance NIC driver and Dynamic- Access software.
"This helps make Dynamic-Access easier to deploy, which helps sell 3Com NICs and end-to-end switching solutions," said Dave Flynn, director of marketing for end systems software at 3Com.
Tivoli will benefit from this aspect of the relationship by having 3Com distribute its agent software to more than 1.5 million end systems per month.
"Everyone's been talking about bringing some of the network systems management stuff together, and I think they're really taking a couple of steps to do that," said John McConnell, president of McConnell Consulting. "The downside is, if you don't have 3Com NICs, so what?"
3Com also will participate in Tivoli's Open Network Environment (ONE) program to integrate technologies in the areas of traffic prioritisation and network performance management. This will enable users to set policies for prioritizing net traffic, the companies said.
Tivoli and 3Com will work on a wide range of other technologies, including:
-- Providing integration of 3Com's Transcend network management applications with Tivoli's TME 10 Framework to allow enhanced control and security of the network.
-- Enabling Tivoli's products to distribute software updates to 3Com's workgroup hubs, re-mote access devices, switches and other network devices.
-- Enabling Tivoli's products to store and utilize hardware and software inventory information captured by 3Com's net devices.
-- Centralising backup and restore capabilities for device configuration files for NICs, hubs, routers, remote access devices and switches.
Tivoli agents will be available in early 1998 through a 3Com DynamicAccess software release. The software will be delivered through 3Com's NIC installation diskettes or via Web download. The 3Com software updating application is targeted for mid-1998 delivery.