Getting Inside Tivoli

IBM's Tivoli general manager Robert LeBlanc shares his vision of where the management software fits in IBM's strategy and seeks to dispel charges that IBM's initiative is only aimed at IBM platforms.

In the marketing wars of On Demand or Utility Computing, IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Computer Associates International Inc. and others look to poke holes in each others positioning while advancing their own initiatives.

At the centerpiece of each of those vendors strategies is management software to monitor, measure and dynamically control IT computing resources. Robert LeBlanc, IBMs Tivoli general manager in Austin, Texas, recently laid out his vision of where Tivoli management software fits in IBMs strategy and sought to dispel competitors charges that IBMs initiative is only aimed at IBM platforms.

Prior to IBMs autonomic computing initiative, Tivoli had started down the road to gaining an understanding of the impact that IT resources have on the business with its Tivoli Business Systems Manager, which relates IT resources back to the applications they support.

LeBlanc spoke with eWEEK Senior Editor Paula Musich about the ongoing initiative.

eWEEK: What is the origin of IBMs autonomic computing initiative?

LeBlanc: "We found in talking to our customers that a very high percentage of what they do when there is a problem is very procedural. We started to introduce automation capability into our new monitoring product with a new architecture that lets customers automate the action they were taking. We helped the system heal itself. Now were trying to get to the point where the environment can dynamically adapt to whats going on in the business. Thats why we acquired Think Dynamics."

eWEEK: What problem does the Think Dynamics software try to solve?

LeBlanc: "One customer said its like building a church for Easter Sunday. They have to over-provision. Wouldnt it be nice if we could take a server and make sure it has the right software and connectivity to handle an increased workload. Then when the workload diminishes, we can take that server and put it back into a pool so that server can be an application server, HR server, accounting server, and so on."

eWEEK: What other acquisitions have been put under the Tivoli brand as part of the On Demand Computing initiative?