IBM Hits Autonomic Milestone

IBM announces major autonomic computing developments in the areas of services, technology, standards creation and partner programs.

IBM on Thursday declared it has reached a major milestone in its ongoing autonomic computing initiative with developments in four key areas: services, technology, standards creation and partner programs.

IBM Global Services launched a pair of new services designed to help speed troubleshooting of IT infrastructure problems and to speed implementation of MySAP and the infrastructure required to support it. Both new services incorporate autonomic technologies.

"This is a recognition [that autonomic computing] is going prime time. Were helping companies in seeing how they can consistently save 30 to 70 percent [of the time it takes to perform] IT tasks," said Dave Bartlett, vice president of autonomic computing in Somers, N.Y.

The new IBM Accelerator for Service Management for Problem Determination service helps customers combine, analyze and correlate error information across heterogeneous systems. The service incorporates software agents and log adapters that convert disparate log data into a common format along with a single user interface that provides streamlined, end-to-end viewing, analysis and correlation of the consolidated data.

The Dynamic Infrastructure for MySAP Business Suite of services is designed to allow customers to more easily share resources between different SAP applications, speed the deployment of new SAP installations, improve systems utilization and lower their total cost. The service leverages IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager, which incorporates autonomic technology.

Both services are offered in the United States, Canada and Europe.

/zimages/1/28571.gifIBM is teaming with Singlestep Technologies to bring autonomic computing within reach of ISVs and SMBs.Click here to read more.

On the software front, IBM moved the autonomic ball forward with enhancements to its Autonomic Computing Toolkit, an online resource for developers working to embed self-managing functions into their applications and services. The enhancements assist developers in extending self-managing technology to more complex system applications.

"It reduces the skills required to use the [downloadable] toolkit, and it can process massive amounts of log files. We improved the performance of that by 10 times," Bartlett said.

In the standards arena, IBM said that the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) will consider the IBM Solution Installation specification in the recently formed Solution Deployment Descriptor Technical committee. That committee is charged with developing a standard method for expressing software installation characteristics necessary for full lifecycle management in multiplatform environments.

"The technical committee taking this work forward in OASIS includes HP, Sun, Novell, Fujitsu, NEC, CA and Macrovision—now our leading install vendor. It really shows the industry is committed to work together," said Bartlett.

In addition, IBMs Common Base Event specification provided significant input into the WSDM (Web Services Distributed Management) standard recently ratified by OASIS. IBM and HP will jointly demonstrate WSDM interoperability this week at the Global Grid Forum.

Finally on the partner front, IBM has created its own autonomic form of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. The IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program allows qualified software vendors to include the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology mark on their products.

The mark "indicates that the vendors program adheres to standards, incorporates common technology and has been demonstrated to provide quantifiable value to a customer," said Bartlett.

Among partners already qualified for the mark is Macrovision, which recently announced a set of products that can be used to build standardized packages for installation and maintenance. The products can declare all the applications dependencies and have them resolved at run time. This allows developers to package code for their target environments and capture all dependencies so that experts are not required to get the application working with the operating system, database, middleware or networking specifics of the target. All those details are defined programmitcally in a descriptor.

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