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IBM inspires Tivoli makeover

IBM's Tivoli Systems unit is set to make over its entire line of offerings as part of a broad effort to extend network and systems management capabilities across the Internet.

Beginning this spring, Tivoli will begin to embrace a variety of IBM application server and Web services technologies to take Tivoli technology into the realm of "business impact management", said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of Tivoli Software.

"We think that, over time, systems management will be more proactive where I can gather up information and understand business patterns," LeBlanc said. "That's why we call it 'business impact management'."

The first steps toward achieving that goal will result in Tivoli software being hosted on top of IBM's WebSphere application server and integrated with IBM's MQSeries messaging software, LeBlanc said.

"We are going to leverage WebSphere and Web services underneath the covers," LeBlanc said. "It enables us to get to a Web-based infrastructure from what has been a traditional client/server architecture."

A Web-based infrastructure is a critical element for any network and systems management platform to be relevant in the enterprise today, industry analysts said.

"Currently, Web-based infrastructures promise flexibility, promise reuse of code, promise integration and open standards," said Cameron Haight, research director at Gartner. "The key here is not to reinvent the wheel."

IBM's ultimate goal is to use Tivoli as a platform for not only managing systems and networks but also creating a platform for essentially managing business processes across the Internet.

"It goes beyond just managing systems," LeBlanc said. "We think systems management will move from the realm of being IT-centric to being more business-centric."

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