A One-Stop Console for Administrators

The release of a new dashboard in IBM’s new Tivoli Storage Manager 5.3 marks the beginning of an effort to consolidate all IT administrator functions under one console.

IBM Friday announced the push for developer support of the Integrated Solutions Console (ISC), a portal to create a consistent user interface for administrators. The Armonk, N.Y., systems vendor plans to release administrative dashboards for other IBM products this year and into 2006.

The Administration Center replaces the administrative Web interface found in

earlier versions of TSM, the company’s data backup, archiving and recovery application.

It’s the first software application and second major component to find its

way into the Integrated Solutions Console (ISC), a framework for plugging in

components of administrative functions, similar to the intranet portals used

by corporations to view company information under one consistent user

interface. Several administrative functions in the IBM

Virtualization Engine, launched last year for managing servers, have

been wrapped into the ISC.

“It’s part of our initiative to start bringing some consistency and some

integration from an administrator’s perspective on how he or she perceives

the components of a data center,” said Ric Telford, IBM director of

autonomic computing architecture and technology, “to give a homogeneous

view of the monitoring and management of these various components.”

The self-optimization value of bringing these functions under one roof is

one of the tenets of IBM’s autonomic

computing strategy, which seeks to improve the way networks are run in

the enterprise. Rather than using a mish-mash of disparate dashboards

created by the vendor or in-house developers, each with their own

look-and-feel and functionality, all the dashboards can run under one


Developers looking to create portlets for the ISC will need the WebSphere

Studio Site Developer 5.1.1 or the WebSphere Portal Toolkit 5.0 and

WebSphere Studio Site Developer 5.1.1. The underlying technology for the

component portlets is Java Specification Request-168 (JSR-168), though some

of the technology in IBM’s portlets pre-dates the specification.

Future IBM releases will incorporate the final Java Community Process

(JCP) standard, though Telford wasn’t able to give a timetable on

third-party inclusion into the ISC.

“The goal is not just the integration of IBM administrative interfaces

because that doesn’t meet the total requirements of a lot of our customers

today,” he said. “They want to be able to integrate third-party

applications with their application suite portlets as well.”

“There’s no

reason they shouldn’t be able to go to one dashboard, one command center,

and have consistency in the way they view and work with user interfaces for

these heterogeneous products.”

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