IBM buys provisioning vendor Think Dynamics

IBM will add new "orchestrated provisioning" tools to some of its software, hardware and service offerings through the acquisition of Toronto-based software vendor Think Dynamics.

In an announcement Wednesday, IBM said the new provisioning tools will be a key part of its "services on-demand" strategy of quickly providing customers with needed capacity and IT services as they are required.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

John Crow, an IBM spokesman, said the Think Dynamics acquisition brings in additional provisioning capabilities for customers across all IT systems. Until now, IBM had systems in place for provisioning individual IT needs, including storage, users and Web servers, he said. But using the newly acquired Think Dynamics Think Control Suite, provisioning will be able to be done for all systems at once for the entire application stack, providing a deeper range of control for customers.

"The elements that we had were focused on different elements of provisioning," Crowe said.

Based on autonomic technology, orchestrated provisioning obtains real-time feedback on the state of the IT environment, checks the status against business policies and makes changes by dynamically reallocating a broad variety of computing resources, including servers, middleware, applications, storage systems and network interfaces, in an orchestrated and coordinated manner. The software can support provisioning of multiple platforms such as Linux, Unix or Windows, and enables the provisioning of new systems and reprovisioning of existing IT resources, according to IBM.

The new offerings will be managed by IBM under its Tivoli management tools brand but will also be offered with hardware and software.

The 36 employees at Think Dynamics will remain in Toronto and become IBM employees, Crowe said.

"Think Dynamics' product family is unique in the industry in that it is based on key standards, such as Web services and Open Grid Services Architecture, which allow customers to automatically and dynamically provision resources based on the unique policies and processes of their business," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of IBM's e-business on demand, in a statement. "By acquiring a leading provider of provisioning software, IBM will bring customers a platform-agnostic solution that further unlocks the value of an on-demand infrastructure."

IBM's purchase of Think Dynamics follows similar provisioning technology acquisitions by competitors last year. In November, Sun Microsystems Inc. bought Fremont, Calif.-based provisioning vendor Terraspring Inc. And in December, storage software company Veritas Software Corp. in Mountain View, Calif., acquired Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Jareva Technologies Inc.

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