Tivoli Adds Vision to Monitoring

IBM next month will refresh its IBM Tivoli Monitoring software to deliver the greatest level of integration yet between Tivoli and the acquired Candle Corp. Omegamon technology.

IBM next month will launch the next release of its IBM Tivoli Monitoring software, which delivers the greatest level of integration yet between Tivoli and the acquired Candle Corp. Omegamon technology and sets the stage for helping IT automate more processes to lower labor costs.

ITM 6.1 for the first time delivers cross-platform monitoring from IBM zSeries mainframes "down through Intel [Corp.] servers. Were the only vendor that will use the same monitoring technology from [zSeries] to [xSeries]," said Bob Madey, vice president of strategy and market management at IBM Tivoli, in Austin, Texas. The ITM 6.1 suite is integrated with a common enterprise management portal, which IBM is debuting this week at the Share Inc. user conference in Boston. Along with the Tivoli Enterprise Portal, ITM 6.1 integrates with IBMs forthcoming Change and Configuration Management Database and IBMs process management layer.

IBM, like many of its enterprise management competitors, is working to redesign its different management products to deliver greater levels of integration and to simplify their operation, said Donna Scott, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Virginia Beach, Va.

"The industry is in perpetual churn now because people are generally unhappy with the lack of integration of tools from the same vendor. Everyone is going through these massive rearchitectures to make their products easier to use, building on a higher level of data integration across their products to drive value," said Scott. "The CMDB [configuration management database] is a key source of data integration, but the proof will be in the pudding."

One beta tester working with the new release agreed but sees a glimmer of hope in the latest release. "Now with system management products, we have a lot of consoles we have to go to. ... Our hope is the portal will give us one place to go and give us most if not all [of] our information. From what Ive seen so far, this will get us pretty close," said the beta tester at a global packaging company, who requested anonymity.

The portal, which provides common event, system and resource views, leverages Candles visualization technology to integrate availability management products, including the Tivoli Enterprise Console, ITM, IBMs mainframe-based Tivoli NetView and Candles Omegamon.

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ITM 6.1, due next quarter, also advances data integration and provides a common base monitoring agent. "It will be consistent across all those monitoring technologies to ease training and support costs. It makes it much easier to determine the root cause of a problem," said Madey, who added that the Tivoli Business Systems Manager also exploits the new enterprise portal.

The portal also exploits enhanced data warehouse capability in ITM 6.1 to achieve greater data integration. "Were real interested in the new data warehouse in [ITM] 6.1. The fact that the portal will integrate the current data along with warehouse data and just present it to you [means] you dont have to know where its getting the data. If you want to look at the last three days of data on memory, it pulls it back to one display and shows it," said the ITM 6.1 beta tester.

IBMs aim in its large-scale integration effort is to create a base task-level automation loop and set the stage for helping IT begin to automate its own processes, according to Madey.

The loop includes monitoring resources and transactions, analyzing data to determine the root cause of problems, planning for remediation, and then automating changes. IBM is not alone in this aim, which is driving IBMs acquisition strategy in the management space, he said.

"The final step—how you move changes into the space you want—is why BMC [Software Inc.] bought Marimba [Inc.], [Hewlett-Packard Co.] bought Novadigm [Inc.]. Its completing a basic task-level automation loop and starting to integrate around a common data set to elevate the gain to IT process-level automation," Madey said.

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