IBM Makes Autonomics Progress

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2005-07-11 Print this article Print

Pushing ahead with its autonomic computing initiative, IBM said portions of the technology are now ready for prime time, but users say there is still work to be done.

Pushing ahead with its autonomic computing initiative, IBM said portions of the technology are now ready for prime time, but users say there is still work to be done.

IBM recently announced several new autonomic computing offerings, additions that show the technology is fit for enterprise use, company officials said; they point to consistent savings of 30 to 70 percent in the amount of time it takes to perform some IT tasks as evidence of the projects maturity.

But one early user, working with enhanced tools that reduced debugging time for failures in large-scale backup jobs by 20 to 40 percent, said he still has his eye on the horizon.

"Im really looking forward to the repairing function, where I can put in a rule and tell it how to restart a service. Some jobs take 8 hours to process. If I can have it repair itself at night, then [the job] is done and I dont have to start all over again," said Carey Capaldi, product manager for the Technicolor Content Management System at Technicolor, in Glendale, Calif.

The correlation and analysis Capaldi used is in IBMs Common Base Event format and the Log and Trace Analyzer, both autonomic technologies that form the basis of one of two new IBM Global Services offerings.

The new IBM Accelerator for Service Management for problem determination helps customers combine, analyze and correlate error information across heterogeneous systems. The other new service, Dynamic Infrastructure for MySAP Business Suite, is designed to allow customers to more easily share resources between different SAP R3 applications, speed the deployment of new R3 installations, improve systems utilization and lower the total cost.

IBM has also made it easier for developers to embed self-managing functions into their applications and services with enhancements to its Autonomic Computing Toolkit.

"It reduces the skills required to use the tool kit, and it can process massive amounts of log files. We improved the performance of that by 10 times," said Dave Bartlett, vice president of autonomic computing at IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.

In working to ensure autonomic computing works in a heterogeneous computing environment, IBM announced that the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards will work to develop a standard method for expressing software installation characteristics necessary for full life-cycle management in multiplatform environments.

For partners, IBM created an autonomic "seal of approval" whereby qualified software vendors can include the new IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark on their products. The mark assures users that the vendors software adheres to standards, incorporates common technology and is proven to provide quantifiable value.

Analysts say that IBM also is still looking at how autonomic computing fits into the larger IT environment.


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