IBM Composes Symphony Bundle

The next product offering in IBM's Project Symphony initiative will be a bundle of software and hardware with the company's blade servers.

The next product offering in IBMs Project Symphony initiative will be a bundle of software and hardware with the companys blade servers that is designed to enable enterprises to automate the tasks of managing their IT infrastructure.

IBM Web Infrastructure Orchestration, due at the end of the month, comprises versions of IBMs WebSphere middleware, DB2 database and Tivoli Storage Manager software, as well as IBMs TotalStorage hardware integrated with its BladeCenter blade servers, according to IBM officials. Coordinated by IBM Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator—which was rolled out last month with the unveiling of Project Symphony—the package enables administrators to automate such tasks as deploying applications. It does this based on policies set by the business, the officials said.

Project Symphony is aimed at addressing key IT problems—increasing resource utilization, reducing costs and linking a companys IT infrastructure with its business policies. Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator enables the use of Java-based policies to tie together IT and business, officials said. Once policies are set, the software senses an increase or decrease in business demand and can automatically allocate IT resources to meet those demands.

For example, if a business sets a policy to answer a request over the Web in 2 seconds, the software will monitor the infrastructure to ensure that policy is met. If a spike in demand makes meeting that policy difficult, the software can automatically allocate more resources to meet the increased workload.

Web Infrastructure Orchestration embeds that intelligence into a blade server environment, officials said. Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator manages all the parts of the bundle, shifting resources where theyre needed, depending on the policies set by the business. Deploying new applications or shifting capacity can be done in hours rather than days.

In addition, Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator can communicate with the WebSphere Application Server via Web services interfaces to allow for the automated deployment of new Web servers into the infrastructure.

Corey Ferengul, an analyst with Meta Group Inc., in Chicago, said the bundle will be most attractive to smaller enterprises that dont have the expertise or manpower to install the various parts themselves. Larger businesses will buy the parts they want and deploy them themselves.

"I dont believe the Fortune Five, 100 [or] 500 companies will just shut their eyes and say, OK, Im going to take the whole bundle," Ferengul said. "But thats not the target."