Tivoli targets business impact management

IBM Corp. announced more than 30 new and upgraded systems management products on Monday as the underpinning of its automated and server-integration-friendly Business Impact Management strategy for Tivoli Systems Inc. customers.

The new portfolio is designed to help customers close the gap between business process results and infrastructure management of complex multivendor systems through a predictive-based model. The approach will lend itself toward pinpointing and prioritizing potential problems surrounding application-, server-, or network-level management before performance or IT operation is affected, said Carl Kessler, vice president of products, for the Austin, Texas-based Tivoli IBM Sofware Group.

Among the many new Tivoli products introduced on Monday, Kessler signaled IBM Tivoli Service Level Advisor (SLA) as one of the most significant. The product offers customers the capability to proactively predict outages based on performance analysis metrics and managed service levels.

“The real problems our customers face are much more [about] predicting [issues],” Kessler said. “Most of the time it’s the mundane things that keep things from working well. We can address that.”

Kessler said future versions of IBM Tivoli Service Level Advisor, arriving as early as next year, should be able to plug into an assortment of systems management platforms aside from Tivoli.

Another major product announcement from IBM on Monday comes in the form of IBM Tivoli Enterprise Data Warehouse. Constructed to leverage DB2 technology, the new data warehouse solution is capable of archiving systems management data from multiple vendors across a variety of domains.

Through its consolidation of performance information across multiple applications and business objectives, IBM Tivoli Enterprise Data Warehouse is bringing Tivoli customers IBM’s infrastructure and data extraction strength to bring stability to traditionally complex management, said analyst Audrey Rasmussen, vice president of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates Inc.

“If you have multiple management products deployed, oftentimes they have their own databases. Often the nuggets are scattered all over the infrastructure,” Rasmussen said. “Now if it’s pulled into the data warehouse, there are opportunities for users to go through and look at trends and have better coordination of management data coming from a lot of disparaged sources.”

By embedding Tivoli technology inside IBM’s WebSphere application server, Rasmussen said customers can expect a breadth and depth of management and information other end-users will be forced to gather through application plug-ins.

“It’s nice to see [IBM] pulling the infrastructure and management pieces to really provide more value for Tivoli clients. I think it’s about time,” she added.

Other IBM product announcements on Monday include the following:

    IBM Directory Server 4.1. Based on LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), the product enables identification of users and resources across an enterprise. The directory server will be shipped free in Tivoli solution offerings.
    IBM Tivoli Switch Analyzer. Features auto-discovery and population of all network layer-2 switches.
    IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console Integration with NetView. Combined to form advanced multilayer root-cause analysis and event correlation automation.
    IBM Tivoli Privacy Wizard. Available for free download, the wizard produces and manages a platform agnostic automated XML-version of an organization’s privacy policy for various data types.
    IBM Tivoli Storage Manager 5.1. Improved performance, expanded storage device/library, and platform support for Windows, Sun Solaris, Novell NetWare, Macintosh, HP-UX, and IBM AIX.

Under its new Business Impact Management mantra, IBM has also simplified and repackaged Tivoli product family suites to consolidate and offer multiple CDs and integrated technology for customers, Kessler said.