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Self-healing Computing the Rage at Big Blue

For IBM, self-healing computers are becoming self-evident.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company Monday issued an Autonomic Computing toolkit to help developers create self-managing characteristics to be used in data centers or other IT environments where on-demand or utility computing may be used.

Written with the Java-based, open-source Eclipse platform, the kit is designed to help developers add autonomic computing to their applications with the IBM Software Development Platform, an application development environment.

The kit consists of several tools IBM software engineers created to help a network of servers manage and regulate themselves so that IT administrators may be free to address other IT issues.

Autonomic computing is one of the keystone technologies IBM is using to wield its e-business "on-demand" computing strategy. Rivals such as HP , Sun Microsystems , VERITAS Software and others have all added, or are in the process of adding similar capabilities to their utility computing platforms.

David Bartlett, director of autonomic computing at IBM, said the kit contains runtimes, tools, usage scenarios and documentation that correspond with IBM's Autonomic Computing Blueprint.

"We had already issued some tools, but then we asked, 'What is the next step?' to facilitate usage in the industry," Bartlett told internetnews.com. "There are Eclipse tools and a level of documentation that didn't exist before, including scenarios and examples of how this stuff works."

Bartlett said the toolkit would contain four types of autonomic components.

As the facilitator of autonomic computing, the new Autonomic Management Engine (AME) monitors and analyses an event in a computing environment and corrects any problems that arise.

The Integrated Solutions Console is a Web interface that provides standards-based system administration, including setup, configuration, run-time monitoring and control. This includes a runtime environment, documentation on creating components, Javadoc for Integrated Solutions Console and APIs and samples.

Solution Installation will help vendors identify software interdependencies and prerequisites across their infrastructures to reduce installation and configuration failures. This includes a set of runtime libraries with a dependency checker and a hardware/software scanner.

The toolkit also features the problem determination technologies IBM announced last year, including the Common Base Event (CBE) format specification; Generic Log Adapter, a tool to convert existing log files to the CBE format; and the Log and Trace Analyzer, which reads logs in the CBE and correlates them based on different criteria.

The toolkit, which supports IBM AIX, Linux on Intel systems and Windows2000, can be found on the company's Autonomic Computing Web site.