Self-healing server tool could slash downtime

New management software from IBM could reduce costly server downtime by predicting and repairing software failures before they...

IBM Director includes a self-healing feature called Software Rejuvenation which is designed to identify and predict pending software problems. This will enable a system to automatically schedule a time to reset - or rejuvenate - its software, rather than allow it to continue "aging", a process which, in time, could lead to a crash.

During the software aging process, small programming errors accumulate and absorb ever-increasing amounts of a computer's resources, eventually leading to server downtime.

Research group Gartner has estimated that up to 40% of server failures are caused by software. According to the Standish Group, these failures can cost companies, particularly application service providers, as much as £18,000 per minute.

"Customers are looking for ways to decrease server downtime without allocating huge amounts of time and staff," said Steve Menadue, vice-president of marketing for IBM's personal systems group in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. "With IBM Director and Software Rejuvenation, businesses get easy deployment and proactive management to predict and correct problems before they even happen, helping eliminate costly downtime."

Once deployed, the software allows users to link and control a number of servers and workstations from a single terminal. It is controlled by a click, drag and drop, icon-based interface and can be linked to the server network, via the Internet, for wireless server management.

Platforms supported by IBM Director include Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux and Novell Netware.

IBM Director: key features

  • Can be used as a standalone product or incorporated into an existing enterprise or workgroup management environment

  • Enables IT administrators to view the hardware configurations of remote systems in detail and monitor the usage and performance of components such as processors, discs and memory

  • Supports Red Hat Linux as well as Windows 2000, ME and NT, Windows 95/98, Netware, SCO Unixware and OS/2

  • Incorporates Life Cycle Tool plug-ins designed to lower the costs associated with deploying, managing and supporting Intel-based servers. These include advanced system management, capacity manager, cluster systems management and rack manager.

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