IBM Updates ‘Self-Healing’ Software

IBM announced its latest “self-healing” software, touting a sidestep to IT staff-stealing glitches and other outages through managed monitoring, application manager, and multi-platform system automation software.

Big Blue said by freeing IT teams from finding and fixing glitches in typical, sophisticated systems and networks, its simplified management software, made up of more than 475 “self-managing autonomic features” in 75 IBM products, would reduce time and expense.

Gartner research vice president Martin Reynolds told TechNewsWorld IBM’s and other IT simplification and management solutions are needed as IT manpower is stretched over expanding infrastructure. He also indicated the technology, including IBM’s 2001-launched autonomic computing initiative, have yet to deliver on their potential of being truly self-healing.

“We have a long way to go in the industry,” Reynolds said. “IBM knows it.”

Tivoli Takes Care

IBM said its new Tivoli Monitoring software, “the next wave of self-managing, autonomic technology,” would ease management of online applications including email or bill-pay systems, and root out issues before they progress to outages. The company said the software detects the need for specific procedures, such as adding servers for overloads, and supplies security encryption to safeguard data.

With its Tivoli Composite Applications Manager, IBM said Internet information would be sped up by predicting and fixing traffic bottlenecks.

Lastly, IBM touted its Tivoli System Automation for Multiplatforms as a way to pinpoint the status of applications running of multiple platforms and operating systems.

“These new products from IBM allow companies to spot and fix many IT problems automatically — behind the scenes — so they can focus on strategic projects that are valuable to their business,” said a statement from IBM Tivoli CTO and vice president of Autonomic Computing.

People Problem

Gartner’s Reynolds said IT managers are facing a crisis as they expand their infrastructure with more, inexpensive hardware, but need the staff support to go along with it.

“As an IT manager, you’re caught in that trap,” he said.

Reynolds referred to IBM’s Tivoli — and other management and simplification solutions such as Intel’s Active Management technology for remote running of IT, and VMware’s virtual machine technology — as ways to reduce the increasing costs of IT staffing.

Major Market

Reynolds added the threat of downtime and lost dollars makes such management and automation technology a solution in demand for many IT operations.

“We need this stuff,” he said. “Anything to reduce the cost of managing IT.”

Reynolds indicated while the U.S. server market may be worth US$18 billion, the $8 billion spent on associated support through maintenance contracts illustrates the need.

“That’s there because if [servers] fail, you want to fix that right away,” Reynolds said. “Otherwise, you are losing money.”

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