IBM Beefs Up Management Products

New and enhanced tools deliver on autonomic computing initiative.

IBMs Tivoli unit last week introduced a sweeping set of enhancements and new tools that begin to deliver on IBMs autonomic computing initiative.

Among the 26 new or enhanced management offerings IBM announced are new security and storage management tools that integrate products acquired in the acquisitions of Access360 Corp. and TrelliSoft Inc. The Access360 acquisition closed yesterday.

The new Access360-based Tivoli Identity Manager single-sign-on tool "lets you go out on the Web and create your self-identity and get access to resources you should get to based on your role in the organization," said Steve Wojtowecz, director of strategy for IBM, in Austin, Texas.

Industry analyst Rich Ptak said the tool works as an automated identity management implementation system.

"The nice thing about it is its ability to link back into the human resource data pools and link that with other data pools so you could set up policies and processes for creating access and passwords to multiple databases. When you hire someone, it sets up a workflow thats pre-defined—so it doesnt take 10 days [for a new hire] to get onto the different corporate databases," said Ptak, at Ptak & Associates Inc., in Amherst, N.H.

IBMs new Web-based Tivoli Storage Resource Manager, based on its TrelliSoft acquisition, delivers several autonomic computing features. "You can install it in minutes and get a quick view of what you are using your storage resources for," said Wojtowecz.

IBM also announced a deal with VeriSign Inc. to provide the Tivoli Access Manager as a hosted service. Called Veri-Sign Access Management Service, the service manages access control and authentication.

"What Tivoli is trying to do is to quickly beef up its products and services where it hasnt been competitive in the past or where it needs to fill holes," said Ptak about the VeriSign deal. "This should give them a leg up. Its an unusual move for Tivoli, but it makes sense."

Also among the set of integrated identity management tools is the IBM Tivoli Privacy Manager, which automates the enforcement of privacy policies across the e-business. The tool is intended to help customers extend identity management to applications that collect personally identifiable information.

In delivering on its autonomic computing initiative, IBM is working to build into its Tivoli software self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing and self-protecting characteristics. In support of that, IBM added a tool that automates the process of managing service-level agreements with the new Tivoli Service Level Advisor.

The Tivoli Business Systems Manager manages real-time problems in the context of business priorities.

"Autonomic capabilities allow customers to maximize IT investments by optimizing infrastructure while minimizing overhead," said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBMs Tivoli unit.

The tools will be available by years end, Tivoli officials said.