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IBM Steps up Autonomic Computing

IBM's autonomic computing practice has come a long way since it was formed in 2001. Big Blue has since underlined its servers and software with the notion of self-healing and managing computer systems.

Now the company has new software, services and a partner program to help customers build and set up self-managing autonomic computing environments. Computer systems built with this type of architecture generally locate bugs or flaws within a system and provision the appropriate corrections.

The idea is to automate such problem diagnosis jobs within the machines, saving clients as much as 50 percent of the time they would normally spend manually configuring and fixing computer systems.

The Armonk, N.Y., company has added new software to its Autonomic Computing Toolkit, an online resource where developers can roll out self-managing functions into their applications and services. The new tools can help developers manage larger system applications.

The new version of the toolkit will be available in the third quarter.

New services from IBM's global services group include an accelerator for service management for problem determination, which lets clients log information about errors across systems with different types of computing equipment. This includes log adapters that can convert data into a common format.

The other service uses IBM's Tivoli Provisioning Manager software to help users share resources between SAP applications and speed up the deployment of new SAP solutions. The services are available in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Lastly, IBM has been making autonomic computing more convenient for business partners with the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program.

The program enables independent software vendors to use the IBM autonomic computing mark on their gear as a form of acknowledgment that the gear is self-healing. Corente, Macrovision, nLayers and Singlestep Technologies are participating in this certification program.

Autonomic computing is a subset of the management software market, a multi-billion-dollar industry swimming with competition from HP, Computer Associates, Microsoft and BMC. These companies, and even Dell, make diagnostic software that helps computers gauge and regulate how they are operating.