IBM gives System z10 a software boost

IBM has introduced a set of integrated software applications to enable process automation and IT service management across its System z10 platform and distributed computing environments.

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IBM has introduced a set of integrated software applications to enable process automation and IT service management across its System z10 platform and distributed computing environments.

Management rival CA has also announced it will support IBM's z10 Enterprise Class platform.

"Tivoli Service Management Center for System z" is part of IBM's greater service management portfolio, which enables policy-driven process management across IT environments.

The software suite incorporates best practices laid out in ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) and updates several existing IBM Tivoli management software applications with the process automation capabilities to manage business applications across IT silos. These updated applications include: Change and Configuration Management Database; Application Dependency Discovery Manager; Business Service Manager; Service Request Manager; and Enterprise Portal.

IBM has integrated and bundled several applications together to address specific issues customers might face. For instance, customers could handle financial management needs such as department chargeback by using the newly integrated IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager and Decision Support software, to get an idea of IT resource use and how to allocate costs based on usage.

For security management on the mainframe, IBM has integrated Tivoli zSecure, Compliance Insight Manager, Identity Manager Access Manager and Federated Identity Manager.

Industry watchers said IBM's upgraded mainframe platform would please IT buyers looking to move distributed workloads over to the mainframe in an effort to save money and optimise resources.

"Due to economic uncertainty ... they are looking at potential net positive cost savings and utilisation impact. The IT mantra 'do more with less' is alive and well," said Stephen Elliot, a research director covering enterprise system management at IDC. "Mainframe continues to play a major role with mission-critical applications; it's a safe bet, and in uncertain times IT staff will not get fired for choosing mainframe."

With a renewed interest in running business-critical applications on the mainframe, Elliot added that IT service management software capable of working across both mainframe and distributed computing environments is a must for enterprise IT shops. For IT leaders looking to simplify how they manage complex systems and reduce the number of vendors they must contract with, IBM is providing a set of integrated tools that manage across mainframe and distributed environments.

"IBM System z management from Tivoli is a step forward, as customers are looking for tighter integrations between mainframe processes and the service-level perspective," Elliot said. "There is also a growing set of customers that want to maximise process and technology standardisation across distributed and mainframe platforms. It is a call from CIOs to reduce complexity through the reduction of vendor solutions."

The Tivoli suite is due for release in the second quarter of 2008. Prices are yet to be set.

Meanwhile, rival management software maker CA has updated to its mainframe management products to support IBM's System z10 mainframe platform. CA was a participant in IBM's Early Support Program for the z10 hardware, installing the z10 in its datacentre and supporting several of the companies’ mutual customers.

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