IT management evolves to better support heterogeneous systems

Delegates at CA World user conference hear plan to control IT costs.

Delegates at CA World user conference hear plan to control IT costs.

Addressing the perennial problem of IT infrastructure complexity, software suppliers are starting to hone their IT management suites to offer holistic end-to-end IT infrastructure management, business activity monitoring and self-healing systems.

Such features are becoming essential to IT managers as systems become increasingly complex, amalgamating old tech- nologies such as legacy databases with state-of-the-art equipment, requiring skillful and often expensive management.

At its CA World user conference earlier this month, the supplier outlined its Enterprise IT Management (EITM) strategy, which aims to unify and simplify IT management and control costs. CA plans to release 26  products that will work with its Unicenter platform to accomplish this.

EITM ties together management of the whole enterprise IT environment, including end-users, infrastructure, data, applications, IT services and business processes, said CA.

The industry has been attempting for many years to simplify systems management but the technology now appears to be coming together. Gary Barnett, IT research director at analyst firm Ovum, said, "CA was talking about EITM in the 1990s, but now the technology is more likely to work. CA is really focused on business service optimisation."

IBM is also pursuing a strategy of broadening the reach of its systems management software.

IBM recently acquired Collation, and plans to build the supplier's technology into its Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database - part of its systems management suite.

Collation's software can automatically capture information about IT resources, such as servers, applications and databases, and display it on a detailed map.

This means IT managers will be able to anticipate the impact of changes to an IT environment, said IBM.

Hewlett-Packard is making major changes to its Openview IT management platform, and said it would reveal more at its user conference at the start of December. HP recently released SOA Manager to monitor SOA applications from development to deployment.

This month BMC also enhanced its IT management portfolio with the Business Process Integration Suite, supporting message oriented middleware, Java applications and web services.

This allows users to integrate real-time processes with batch processes from mainframes, distributed systems, ERP systems and home-grown applications into a single, unified, centrally managed business process, said the firm.


Reality of business activity monitoring

Henry Peyret, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said that although systems monitoring suppliers are offering business activity monitoring, early project implementations have revealed significant user frustrations.

"The products are too tightly linked to supplier technologies such as business process management or business intelligence and are not really open enough to support a service oriented architecture strategy yet," said Peyret.


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