Tivoli eyes Web services management

IBM's Tivoli Systems unit has revealed plans to roll out products supporting its dynamic e-business initiative.

IBM's Tivoli Systems unit has revealed plans to roll out products supporting its dynamic e-business initiative.

With beta software due by the end of 2002 and a market-ready product expected to be available in early 2003, a Tivoli executive explained the company is working on technology to manage loosely coupled, Web services-based applications running on a distributed IT infrastructure

Although further details have not been announced, Tivoli is building on the model established by its Business Impact Management software which is designed to give IT executives the ability to manage the performance of enterprise applications.

Additionally, Tivoli is using the initiative to fuel its agenda to drive Web services adoption rather than respond to enterprise demand as it unfolds.

"It's a chicken and egg situation," said Carl Kessler, vice-president of products at IBM Tivoli, indicating that the company can help accelerate adoption.

Tivoli's Web services vision mirrors current industry sentiment that Web services are now being adopted internally by enterprises to dynamically integrate enterprise applications, before extending that model out to partners over the coming months.

But given the consulting services needed to allow network infrastructure to support and deliver Web services, Tivoli should find itself in the driver's seat, analyst Valerie O'Connell, managing director of enterprise systems management for the Aberdeen Group, said.

"This is a non-trivial challenge ahead. [Web services application management] is as much an intellectual [problem] as it is pure technology play," said O'Connell. "In terms of their ability, Tivoli, part of IBM, certainly has access to and can field whatever expertise is required to get the job done."

Kessler explained that once this model evolves, security concerns become paramount once enterprises are running composite applications across both hosted and in-house IT environments.

"How do we effectively manage the componentry for Web services?" he asked. According to Kessler, unfolding demand places Tivoli in a position to deliver a secure method for both delivering and managing e-business applications under IBM's "dynamic e-business initiative".

"Right now you have the WebSphere J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] container model," he said, adding that Tivoli will keep WebSphere at the centre of its Web services management technology. "We have to nail security, and the management issues are complex," he said.

Meanwhile, Tivoli is preparing a series of announcements to be made at its Planet Tivoli conference in Washington, USA from 3-6 June.

Kessler said Tivoli plans to push the integration capabilities between Tivoli, MQSeries, and DB2 and will detail new collaborative capabilities with third-party vendors.

"We're developing our technology using Web services under the covers," he said.

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