IBM Rolls Out Eclipse-Based Autonomic Tools

New tools aimed at helping developers build autonomic features into their applications.

IBM Corp. has released a set of tools, based on the Eclipse open-source development platform, aimed at helping developers build autonomic features into their applications.

David Bartlett, director of autonomic computing at IBM in Hawthorne, N.Y., said the IBM Autonomic Computing Toolkit features tools, usage scenarios and components and is built to work with the IBM Software Development Platform. The toolkit also is built in accordance with IBMs Autonomic Computing Blueprint released last April, Bartlett said. Autonomic computing involves self-managing, self-healing systems.

Bartlett said IBM based the toolkit on Eclipse "in our commitment to have an open approach. We wanted a platform to provide open technologies." IBM announced the availability of the toolkit Monday.

"Weve done a lot in the area of autonomic computing in IBM over the last year," Bartlett said. "We released the Autonomic Architecture Blueprint and core integrating technologies focused on reducing complexity. And we made these tools available on alphaWorks last year."

IBM began rolling the autonomic technologies onto alphaWorks, the companys site to showcase emerging technologies, about a year ago, Bartlett said. "Our objective was to get the stuff out," he said. The toolkit features components in four autonomic technology areas: an autonomic management engine; solution installation and deployment technologies; an integrated solutions console; and problem determination technologies, which are core to autonomic computing, Bartlett said.

In addition, the toolkit features a common base event format, a generic log adapter for autonomic computing tool and a log and trace analyzer for autonomic computing tool, he said.

"With this toolkit we not only make the next step possible, but the new tooling, scenarios and support make this next step a well-documented possibility for our customers, developers and business partners, and even extending that to our competitors," Bartlett said. "The toolkit takes these technologies and shows how they work together to produce autonomic solutions."

Meanwhile, IBM plans to promote the standardization of some of these autonomic technologies, he said. IBM has submitted the common base event data format to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) to adopt it as a standard. "Were trying to bring an alignment through the industry [regarding autonomic technology] focused on standards," Bartlett said. IBM submitted the data format to the Web Services Distributed Management technical committee of OASIS, Bartlett said.

"Our objective was to focus on existing standards bodies," he said. "Were working on submissions in all the areas, configuration console, solution install, dependency management," and others he said.

The Eclipse-based toolkit helps set IBMs autonomic initiative apart from others, Barlett said: "I think what were doing in IBM is unique. I see a lot of good work in other companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, but they are looking at making their products more autonomic and were focused on leading the industry and pushing autonomic computing throughout the industry. We want to evolve this forward. We looked at all the autonomic technologies out in the industry and we said whats missing? We wanted to deliver technologies that didnt exist before."