Tivoli plays role in IBM's On Demand

To kick off IBM Corp.'s Planet Tivoli conference on Wednesday, Tivoli executives told attendees how Tivoli management software could help network managers automatically tie end users, processes and resources to enable IBM's On Demand computing initiative.

The Tivoli show, part of IBM's annual DeveloperWorks Live conference, started with a keynote address from Tivoli General Manager Robert LeBlanc, who discussed at length how systems, security and storage management products can integrate to support automated actions across corporate networks.

He says Tivoli will contribute to IBM's autonomic initiative, which is the foundation for On Demand. On Demand involves network users and applications automatically getting resources as they need them, and then paying for only the infrastructure hardware and software services used.

As an example, LeBlanc demonstrated how Tivoli Enterprise Console could alert staff to potential problems with an online ordering application and automatically shut down resources connected with the corresponding server until the problems had been remedied. The software could then restart the server and the applications it supports.

"The days of HR getting the same resources as online ordering are gone," LeBlanc said. "Technology managers need to report to business executives and, rather than being seen as a cost, prove how IT helps drive business objectives."

LeBlanc detailed how today's technology managers must understand how users, applications and network resources interrelate, and how when combined, they affect or drive the company's line of business. He said IBM and Tivoli will help customers develop a hardware and software infrastructure that can respond to changing business priorities in real time.

"No one cares anymore about how individual elements are performing. What matters is the application, the server running on top of those silos," LeBlanc said. "The ability to tweak in real time is critical to the business."

A demonstration showed that Tivoli monitoring software can automatically predict when a database server may encounter a bottleneck. While Tivoli executives admitted the software could not automatically re-provision a server to avoid the downtime in real time, they said the predictive alert would give network managers enough time to thwart performance problems before they happen.

Rich Ptak, president of Ptak and Associates, says Tivoli has successfully identified a core management challenge problem network executives face today: tracking and managing the interaction and interdependencies among a business' users, IT resources and business processes. Strengths Ptak points out in Tivoli news this week include the new Autonomic Monitoring Engine, the company's plans for identity management, and Tivoli's Monitoring for Transaction Performance, which can now track application transactions in real time. And the company provided many customer testimonials, partly proving it can deliver on its lofty promises, Ptak says.

While he says Tivoli customers look a lot like the IBM installed base, he says competitors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Computer Associates International Inc. and BMC Software Inc. will have to compete with Tivoli's product upgrades.

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