IBM updates mgmt. database, debuts process-based apps

IBM Wednesday announced it would make available in the next six months software that could help IT managers more quickly inventory and classify IT resources and implement best practices around processes for managing availability, application releases and storage.

IBM updated its Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB) to now support a federated model, which required IBM to include an open mechanism to allow data to be imported from other sources and easily exported to third-party resources. The database installs on a server and automatically discovers the IT resources and their configurations, as well as any relationships among IT components. It can also update itself when changes are made.

"This is a repository of critical information and changes to the infrastructure," says Mike McCarthy, director of strategy for IBM Tivoli. "It all hinges on having an open approach."Like competitors HP and BMC, IBM incorporated a federated model in this CCMDB release.

Under a federated model, database software collects data from many sources but doesn't have to store it all in one monolithic database. A federated CDMB has a centralized database with hooks into other data sources; IT managers are not required to abandon their existing databases and move configuration data to another server.

This support makes it possible for data to reside in many sources throughout the enterprise, with a centralized source having knowledge of where that data is.In addition to the CCMDB, IBM introduced three software applications that would be installed on the same server as the database and includes connectors to enable them to work with other Tivoli tools to employ a consistent set of processes and workflows when completing certain IT tasks.

For instance, IBM Tivoli Availability Process Manager would include workflows that would help IT managers quickly restore a service following an outage. The product identifies the failing IT resources and can be configured to launch the appropriate diagnostic tools, IBM says.Likewise, IBM Tivoli Release Manager automates the process of deploying software releases, application upgrades and patches.

The workflow helps IT managers ensure the "right tasks are performed by the right person," IBM says. And IBM Tivoli Storage Process Manager can help customers better understand the data in their storage environment to better use storage devices. For instance, the application can help IT managers reduce redundant backups and fill unused storage space, as well as diagnose backup failures.The software products are scheduled to be generally available June 30. IBM will release pricing at that time.

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