IBM Offers Free Autonomic Template

IBM is offering the public
a free template for creating software that seeks out glitches in networks
and squelches them before they cause performance failure.


Under the aegis of its autonomic computing strategy, the Armonk, N.Y.
concern will also make available the first in a series of technologies based
on the blueprint. The move demonstrates that IBM is looking to take a
leadership position in the field of self-managing computing, where highly
intuitive software detects problems and keeps them from becoming network
catastrophes.


Though a fairly new ideology, IBM and vendors such as Microsoft, Sun and HP
have all dipped into the self-managing computing well. Recently,
Microsoft unveiled
its Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) software architecture for PCs.


Analysts have been raving about its potential, claiming these modular
services may run a variety of different kinds of workloads and handle
unanticipated changes in workload profiles. In the near future, experts also
see this trend emerging as a long-term battle for the management of the
enterprise resources: as operating system and hardware platforms become
increasingly commoditized, this level of management will become a major
competitive battleground.


IBM’s autonomic blueprint outlines control loops to monitor, analyze and react
to changes within an IT environment. This loop collects information from the
system, makes decisions and then tweaks the system as necessary. This
control loop can enable the system to self-configure, heal, optimize and
protect. It is based on the Open Grid Systems Architecture
and Application Resource Measurement (ARM) standard.


The technologies IBM introduced to developers along with the technology map
include:

  • Log and trace tool: Designed to locate problems, it frees up time for
    systems administrators by eliminating the manual task of tracking down the
    cause of a system problem by putting the log data from different system
    components into a common format IBM expects this tool will help bridge the
    gap between identifying glitches and debugging affected applications and
    middleware.

  • ABLE (Agent Building and Learning Environment) Rules Engine for Complex
    Analysis: ABLE is a set learning and reasoning components that, through the
    use of special monitoring software, can capture and share individual and
    organizational knowledge.

  • Monitoring Engine providing Autonomic Monitoring capability: Developed
    by IBM’s Tivoli brand, this technology detects resource outages and
    potential problems before they impact system performance. The monitoring
    engine features self-healing technology to allow systems to quickly recover
    from situations.

  • Business Workload Management for Heterogeneous Environments: This tool
    helps isolate the causes of bottlenecks in the system through response time
    measurement, reporting of transaction processing segments, and dynamic
    learning of transaction workflow through servers and middleware. This
    technology will begin to rollout in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring for
    Transaction Performance V5.2 product


IBM explained the impetus for its largesse in a public statement.


“In order to build a robust foundation for autonomic computing, it is
imperative that there exists an approach to standards and tools that
facilitates and encourages the development of open systems. The adoption
rate for developing autonomic computing systems depends on customers having
access to essential technologies and tools that make it easy to incorporate
them into their systems.”

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