RealTime IT News

Automating IT With IBM

Barebones IT staffs, have no fear.

IBM introduced the Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database, software that deploys and runs applications on software, hardware, storage and networks in separate departments within a business.

To accompany this release, and three Tivoli Process Managers, software fixes computer failures, provides software updates and patches and manages storage machines on the fly.

Little to no tinkering required.

This saves IT administrators from hand-coding and installing the applications on each machine in a business.

IBM is positioning its Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB) as the heart of an IT service management architecture, said Kristof Kloeckner, vice president of development, IBM Tivoli software.

In this model, software is used to feed relevant information about gear in an IT shop, such as servers, storage arrays, networks, middleware and applications, to IT staffers.

This information will help technical people understand the relationships and dependencies among various components.

Should any of these technologies break down, the IT staff will know if the affected hardware or software will conk out its brethren, and be able to make a faster fix with the service management guidelines provided by the CCMDB.

"This reflects customer demand for integrated approached to service management, an approach where you integrate the information about the configuration and its state with the processes that people perform to manage and deliver services," Kloeckner said.

The CCMDB also triggers the new IBM Process Managers, which follow the IT management practices set forth in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), into action.

The Tivoli Availability Process Manager helps customers understand how outages and performance issues will impact the business, and makes sure service can be reinstated as quickly as possible in the event of a failure.

Tivoli Release Process Manager pipes software releases, updates and patches without provocation, while Tivoli Storage Process Manager helps customers rights backup failures and helps staffers ease up on redundant backups and fill unused storage space.

The CCMDB and three Process Managers will begin selling June 30, with pricing to be announced at that time.

Kloeckner said a Process Manager for capacity management will follow in the second half of 2006, with future Process Managers based security, compliance and IT financial assessment, coming later.

Products that can follow ITIL to a tee are becoming increasingly popular, with many corporate compliance regulations in the U.S. and abroad causing customers to open their coffers for CMDBs.

IBM also competes with BMC, CA, HP and Mercury Interactive in the multi-million-dollar CMDB market.

IBM's latest plans come two weeks after management software rival BMC Software launched the second iteration of its Atrium CMDB.

While these vendors compete, they also cooperate on some fronts for what they say is the betterment of the industry.

Last month, BMC, Fujitsu Limited, HP, CA and IBM vowed to create a new interoperability specification designed to enable customers to link information from their multi-vendor IT infrastructures.

They plan to develop an open specification for sharing information between CMDBs and other data repositories.

The goal is to provide companies with greater flexibility for adding new hardware, applications and middleware.