RealTime IT News

Tivoli Overhauls on The SOA

IBM plans to offer new Tivoli management software to help customers manage IT processes as services. The plan is part of IBM's agenda to weave its software lines together into a services-oriented architecture (SOA) .

Tivoli will help developers build IT processes and automate integration. The idea is to cut down on the time and cost of building and managing processes, simultaneously moving Tivoli from point-product status to an integrated services management model.

One of these products is a tool the Armonk, N.Y., company calls the IBM Tivoli Unified Process (ITUP). Rooted in process technology from IBM's Rational software line, ITUP provides a way to improve IT processes, an increasingly popular movement to manage time and cut labor costs.

The technology is IBM's solution to meeting specifications in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a publication used to aid the implementation of a framework for managing IT services.

With ITUP, customers learn what software and hardware are required to meet business goals and how to alter the products once implemented, according to Nancy Pearson, vice president of Tivoli Software.

IBM has new software in the works. Later this year, Pearson said IBM will trot out Tivoli Process Managers, software packages that automate application deployment across software, hardware and the network. Also based on Rational technology, the packages will be targeted at specific markets, including health care and financial services.

IBM Process Managers will support change management, availability and information lifecycle management (ILM) in an effort to help companies meet federal compliance laws, such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA. The technologies may be then used to support the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) , which is crucial for knitting Web services in an SOA.

Big Blue is also betting on new Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB) software for the second half of 2005. The software poses as a virtual database that lets IT data move across several databases.

CCMDB will offer one view of an application running on a dozen servers, letting admins know when the last time an application was altered. This technology will allow admins to offer passwords, so the right people have access to the right systems.

"We want to elevate Tivoli from just focusing on point projects and automating at the domain level to applying that same technology to IT processes," Pearson said.

Pearson also said IBM has enhanced Tivoli Provisioning Manager and Tivoli Configuration Manager to automate the way changes are implemented in an IT infrastructure. The new versions grab security patches from the Web and deploy them to the correct machines on the fly.

The new Tivoli moves represent a better way to make the product line seem like a cohesive unit. But the changes coming for Tivoli are more evidence that IBM is taking all of its software into SOA territory.

Customers will no longer have to manually design IT processes individually within their own silos of operation, and then hand code integration across different departments. This is a key element of an SOA.