IBM Seeds Apps With Performance Tools

The latest version of IBM's WebSphere Web Application Server will come embedded with a performance management tool, courtesy of IBM's Tivoli software unit.

The latest version of IBMs WebSphere Web Application Server will come embedded with a performance management tool, courtesy of IBMs Tivoli software unit.

Starting this week, WebSphere 5.0 joins a growing number of IBM software offerings that include built-in management software at no additional charge (see related story). The trend will carry into IBM servers, according to Chris OConnor, director of performance and availability at Tivoli, in Raleigh, N.C.

"With IBM products, were essentially aggregating instrumentation in a common way and making sure any IBM customer has basic monitoring and management built in so they dont have to buy someone elses monitor," OConnor said. "Well be closely aligned with all IBM offerings, and well be first to market. We see this as an efficient way to instrument our own [products]."

The latest release of IBMs Lotus Development divisions Domino messaging system also embeds Tivoli management software. IBMs Informix Dynamic Server is also on the list to gain embedded management capabilities, according to OConnor.

The move is an attempt to head off a number of small, best-of-breed, point tools providers that are nipping at Tivolis heels, according to Jean-Pierre Garbani, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

"The bundling undermines the proliferation of point solutions. Today, the leaders in this area are people like Wily Technology [Inc.] and Precise Software [Solutions Inc.] that provide data collection, analysis and reporting," said Garbani. He added that he believes other large enterprise management players, such as Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView unit, are likely moving in the same direction.

Tivoli Performance Viewer in WebSphere provides basic indicators of the performance of WebSphere applications as well as the components of the applications—whether packaged or home-grown. The bundled management application also gathers performance data over time to allow for analysis of trends in application performance.

The tool allows operators to create charts and graphs of performance management data gathered through WebSpheres PMI (Performance Management Interface). Such data can be logged, sorted and transmitted to larger systems management consoles, such as the Tivoli Enterprise Console.

Beyond PMI, IBM has bulked up WebSphere 5.0 with the industry-standard Application Resource Monitoring interface to gather end-to- end transaction performance information, including latency data across multiple points in a complex transaction. Such data can be used by Tivoli Transaction Performance Manager to monitor compliance with service-level agreements.