IBM ramps up automation

IBM Middle East is set to announce new offerings this week that are designed to help organisations automate their information technology and business processes, the vast majority of which are done manually today.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  June 14, 2004

IBM Middle East is set to announce new offerings this week that are designed to help organisations automate their information technology and business processes, the vast majority of which are done manually today. “IBM’s provisioning technology will break new grounds in simplifying the management of complex IT systems including deploying server, software, allocating storage and configuring the network, all of which often require significant IT staff time, can be slow to execute and can result in human error,” explains Bashar Kilani, IBM’s manager of software group, Middle East. All of the new solutions announced today include autonomic computing technology. Autonomic computing is the underlying technology in the vendor's automation efforts to enable information systems to be self-managing. “The Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM) helps Middle East organisations eliminate the risk of this human error by automating these processes using best practices. Automation can help increase the business responsiveness of an IT environment by aligning one’s IT objectives with one’s business goals,” adds Kilani. Big Blue is also enabling provisioning of resources using Grid computing. For example, a new service called the Virtual Loaner Pilot (VLP) uses provisioning and Grid technologies to provide ISVs with easy access to hardware for application porting and testing. Rather than having the physical hardware shipped to the ISV, a time consuming process that slows applications from getting to market, VLP uses Tivoli Provisioning Manager and Grid computing to provide a virtual, IBM eServer-based development environment that enables ISVs to remotely test their applications in an on demand fashion. According to IBM, the new capabilities available through TPM and IBM Total Storage Productivity Center promise to reduce the cost and complexity associated with storage capacity provisioning. Using workflows, the software automates these steps based on IT policies, ensuring business goals are met and reducing the time required to complete the process from days to minutes. IBM has extended the heterogeneous server provisioning capabilities of its provisioning software with added support for Linux, Solaris, Windows and IBM eServer iSeries. For IBM eServer xSeries customers, a new “one-button provisioning” capability powered by TPM claims to cut the deployment time of an xSeries server. With the click of a mouse, customers can automatically install the operating system and software stack to a bare metal system. Tivoli Provisioning Manager is also a key component in the recently announced IBM Virtualisation Engine (VE), which enables computer systems to "clone" themselves, multiplying the performance capabilities of a single server. Together with Rational Test Manager, TPM now provides automated test deployment and configuration of the test environment, while Rational Robot and Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance enable automated real-time problem determination. New workflows are available that support a wide variety of applications software and middleware, including IBM DB2, WebSphere, Citrix, HP/UX, Microsoft Active Directory Services, SQL Server, MS Exchange, Siebel and VMWare. To ensure customers’ IT environments comply with government regulations, new capabilities in Tivoli License Manager will help companies know what software licenses they have, which ones are being used and which ones they might need.

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