IBM opens on demand tech center

Hoping literally to bring users more in touch with its on demand technologies, IBM has announced the opening of a new technology center in Gaithersburg, to help users implement a number of different orchestration and provisioning capabilities.

The lab is set up to help both large and small IT shops to better define their Tivoli-based infrastructure management strategies by giving them hands-on access to new applications along with support for customized implementations of orchestration and provisioning technologies.

"A lot of users know about our on demand strategy by now, but they really need to see it and touch it to really grasp what is going on with it, and how they might use it in their real world situations," said Brian Sanchez, director of IBM's Americas Advanced Technical Support.

IBM users can use the labs to carry out proof of technology testing that will help them decide what their provisioning policies should be, according to Sanchez. By using the collection of Tivoli management products users can examine a range of different provisioning scenarios from a simulated IT environment and how they might impact their respective real-life systems and business processes, he said.

The new center allows users to automatically configure and provision applications and resources based on a pre-determined set of business rules. The in-center technologies enable companies to sense and respond to IT needs in real time according to their defined policies, according to company executives.

"The center gives us a chance to work one-on-one with customers to help achieve a new level of intelligence in their datacenters. This sort of interaction is as important as the technologies themselves, we feel," said Al Zollar, the general manger of IBM's Tivoli software group.

The IT environment in the lab, which is located in Washington, is set up with IBM's Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator, Tivoli Monitoring, Tivoli Enterprise Console, Tivoli Configuration Manager, and TotalStorage Virtualization products.

Alternatively, small IT shops that have limited budgets and are unable to travel to the lab can go to one of IBM's 22 Technical Exploration Centers to gain access to live technology demonstrations taking place in the Washington lab, a company spokesman said.

In a separate but related announcement, The Gartner Group on Monday released market share numbers for companies competing in the enterprise systems management software arena that showed IBM grabbing the top spot. According to the report, IBM's systems management software license revenues grew 10.2 percent to US$5.6 billion in 2003.

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