Virtualisation software that enables companies to deploy and install software on tens of thousands of laptops, desktop PCs, wireless devices and servers has been launched by IBM.
Tivoli Provisioning Manager is designed to help clients reduce the time it takes to manage and upgrade systems, by as much as hours or days, depending on the size of the infrastructure.
IBM believes that managing IT services has become more challenging as technology grows more complex. IBM estimates state that costs related to changing and deploying software on servers accounts for 70% of an organisation's total IT costs; and at least half the people in an organisation's IT staff manage and support existing technology instead of developing and maintaining applications.
Automating changes to IT systems, such as application upgrades and security patches, should improve lengthy, error-laden processes such as making changes, thus freeing up system administrators to handle other tasks.
IBM asserts that Tivoli Provisioning Manager senses when the network can handle software upgrades and automatically begins those upgrades when there is sufficient network bandwidth. It also runs automatic compliance checks - such as validating that antivirus software is up to date - and deploys the software across the infrastructure.
"Automation is key to making virtualised environments efficient," says Dave Lindquist, IBM Tivoli chief architect.
"The ability to modulate how network bandwidth is utilised allows customers to deploy truly flexible, dynamic infrastructures in a way that supports business goals."
Tivoli Provisioning Manager softare includes two new virtualisation technologies. Adaptive bandwidth control gives important business operations priority but allows administrative IT tasks, like anti-virus updates, to be handled whenever network space is available. Peering is a new grid computing-based approach to distributing software over long distances that allows files to be downloaded from a local server or a nearby desktop.
Software is delivered faster to computer users while network traffic and hardware required to support high-traffic volumes are reduced.