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IBM Enters Software Automation Space

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Sep 8, 2006


At IBM the virtualization pipeline continues to flow fat and steady. With the release of Tivoli Provisioning Manager, IBM is sparring with HP, Opsware and Altiris in the virtualization game.

On Friday, the systems vendor trotted out virtualization software that lets companies install software on tens of thousands of laptops, desktop PCs, wireless devices and servers.

Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM), which the company fashioned after it absorbed Rembo Technology in May, helps clients whittle down the time it takes to upgrade systems by hours or days.

Such automation tools are high on CIOs' wish lists because they can save time and effort for their IT staffs.

With TPM, IBM now competes with HP, Opsware and Altiris in the lucrative software automation space.

The software senses when the network can handle upgrades and triggers them when there is enough bandwidth to get the job done without affecting the systems, IBM said in a statement.

The product also performs automatic compliance checks to make sure that security patches are updated and deployed across the network.

With corporate employees numbering in the hundreds to thousands at midsize to large businesses, IT admins and their staffs don't have time to blanket every machine in the company for manual maintenance, such as application upgrades and security patches.

This is why software that automates such tasks has become so bankable; IBM is capitalizing on that need with TPM.

For example, a company could use TPM to sense when there is enough network bandwidth available to deploy an e-mail software upgrade without having to worry about allocating extra servers, scheduling software changes when network traffic is slow, or monitoring network traffic.

While the core technology of Rembo's assets has been preserved, TPM now includes two new virtualization utilities: adaptive bandwidth control and peering.

Adaptive bandwidth control gives important business operations priority but allows IT tasks, such as antivirus updates, to be handled whenever network space is available.

This eliminates the need for a bank to reserve extra servers or network space for administrative tasks.

Peering, as the name suggests, is a grid computing-based approach to distributing software across networks all over the world, allowing files to be downloaded from a local server or desktop.

With peering, software is delivered to users at a faster clip without impinging network traffic or taxing servers.

TPM, which will be available later this month, is integrated with the IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database so that both technologies can share information about the status of IT services.

This article was originally published on internetnews.

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