Think Dynamics on Monday delivered an updated version of ThinkControl that allows IT shops to automate capacity management, planning, and provisioning capabilities of servers to dynamically meet the demands of mission-critical applications.
Version 2.0 allows IT shops to alter resource planning from a "just-in-case" to a "just-in-time" cycle that ensures each application has immediate access to the resources it needs, thereby eliminating the cost of static over-provisioning, according to company officials.
"When you get more demand for an application than expected, you get brownouts because it can't meet the service levels you need. This is caused, in most cases, by static provisioning. ThinkControl can avoid that by pooling servers together in a data center so not just one but many servers have access to that application like a subscription," said Dave Wilmering, a vice president at Think Dynamics.
By proactively managing application performance to best meet an application's particular service level, Version 2.0 is able to create an auditable alignment between resource allocation and the application's performance. This contributes to not just higher performance but lower costs, Wilmering said.
The product is also capable of improving the productivity of an IT staff by capturing and automating the repetitive execution of mundane best practices, thereby freeing up the technical staff to pursue projects more pertinent to the operation's core business, a company spokesman said.
Wilmering believes that as more CIOs and CTOs shift IT more toward being a business resource, they will need to take horizontal IT spending and map it against the business objectives.
"This would allow you to go through a budget and identify, 'here is what so-and-so spent on and here is how it maps to the business infrastructure and services delivered," Wilmering said.
Some industry observers agree.
"A lot of IT executives now are being pressured more and more to reduce costs and improve productivity and get their spending aligned with the company's overall business objectives. I think [that ThinkControl] can help IT organizations meet those three goals, particularly its just-in-time provisioning process," said Bill Martorelli, vice president of Enterprise Services for the Hurwitz Group Inc. in Newton, Mass.
Some of the new features in Version 2.0 include a broader range of compatibility with application environments including J2EE (Java Enterprise Edition 2.0) and Web server platforms including Weblogic, WebSphere, Apache, and Microsoft.
The new version also supports a wider array of operating systems including Unix-based systems such as HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX and Linux and Windows. New network device compatibility includes products from Cisco Systems Inc., Foundry Networks Inc., and Nortel Networks Corp.
Version 2.0 is also Web enabled, according to Wilmering. He believes that as demand for Web services grows, products such as ThinkControl should benefit.
"Enterprises are working toward being more real-time enterprises where all systems are interconnected not only within the enterprise but externally. Web services can be a tool that can make this a reality. It can be the glue that lets applications talk to each other," said Duncan Hill, Think Dynamics' CTO and founder.
More information about Version 2.0 and the company's other products can be found at www.thinkdynamics.com.