IBM Applies the BigFix to Security and Compliance

Displaying the fruits of its recent BigFix acquisition, IBM has announced new software to deliver greater security and compliance to thousands of laptops, PCs and servers globally.

Displaying the fruits of its recent BigFix acquisition, IBM has announced new software to deliver greater security and compliance to thousands of laptops, PCs and servers globally-automating some of the most time-intensive IT tasks.

IBM closed its BigFix acquisition in July 2010. BigFix software has built-in intelligence that identifies which devices are not in compliance with policies and can recommend security fixes and timely software updates to up to 500,000 machines in a matter of minutes.

IBM's new offering provides built-in intelligence that identifies all of a company's PCs, laptops, servers, and point-of-sale and virtualized devices-wherever they are-then flags when devices are not in compliance with corporate IT standards. Its single dashboard makes the proper fixes across half-a-million machines so enterprises can see, change, enforce and report on security policies and system configurations of all endpoint devices in real time-including those not continuously connected to the corporate network.

The new BigFix Unified Management Software Platform includes more than 200 customer- and partner-specific enhancements, most notably improved virtualization management and a new role-based interface.

"As organizations become increasingly more complex, virtualized and distributed, it's critical for them to take proactive steps to secure and manage their IT environment in a consolidated and automated way," said Amrit Williams, chief technology officer for BigFix technology at IBM, in a statement. "With BigFix's new virtualization and interface breakthroughs, IT staff can better manage and secure their IT environments."

For instance, Capital Region Health Care, a charitable health-delivery system for community-based healthcare in New Hampshire, has been a customer for years and is an early adopter of the new BigFix software.

"With these new user interface changes-particularly the ability to see all virtual and physical assets in a single place-our IT staff will continue to be able to deliver reliable, rapid, and superior quality of service to our organization," said Mark Starry, director of IT infrastructure and security at Capital Region Health Care, in a statement.

Meanwhile, IBM officials said upgrading existing BigFix deployments to version 8.0 requires no reboots, and customers can upgrade as fast as their change control allows, unlike other management infrastructures which require "forklift" or migration upgrades.

Moreover, the BigFix software can also help expedite clients' migrations to the Windows 7 operating system. To help leverage IBM's global reach, BigFix software is generally available today in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and simplified Chinese. BigFix now supports more than 70 operating systems, including SUSE, HP-UX, OEL and CentOS, adding to the 70 operating system variants already supported across Windows, Mac, Unix and Linux.

BigFix adds a set of highly regarded management technologies to the IBM software portfolio. The BigFix platform is used by organizations in government, finance, retail, education, industry and public-utility sectors, IBM said. BigFix software impacts IT infrastructure management by replacing fragmented collections of single-purpose tools with a unified visibility and control architecture that consolidates up to 18 security, IT-compliance, decision-support, and green-computing functions.

According to analysts, as companies increase the deployment of virtualized assets, having greater management of those assets is critical for security and compliance. And securing the enterprise continues to be a top priority to clients. Worldwide security software revenue is forecast to surpass $16.5 billion in 2010, an 11.3 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $14.8 billion, according to Gartner.