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Cloud Computing: Article

New IBM Software Helps Clients Automate Virtualization Data Centers

Realize Benefits of Cloud Computing

IBM announced new software for data center automation that will help clients benefit from cloud computing, a revolutionary approach that will allow corporate data centers to act with Internet-scale efficiency and operate with fewer resources.

The new version of IBM's Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM) helps clients reduce manual steps to better automate the changing demands for IT resources -- a key element of IBM's version of cloud computing, called Blue Cloud. The technologies developed as part of this initiative enable clients to build large-scale, distributed, globally accessible data centers.

As a foundation for data center automation, TPM plays an important role in helping IT organizations manage power consumption by switching servers to standby mode when not in use, which saves energy, and automatically restores them to active mode when needed.

TPM dynamically provisions and allocates resources to compensate for workload fluctuations common in today's rapidly changing business environment. These fluctuations can strain specific IT resources while other systems run at less than capacity, a problem cloud computing can resolve.

"Advanced automation and resource optimization are key drivers to containing costs and among the top priorities for businesses today," said Chris O'Connor, vice president, Tivoli strategy and market management, IBM. "This new version of Tivoli Provisioning Manager enables our clients to simplify IT environments, further take advantage of virtualization and realize the vision of cloud computing."

TPM 5.1.1 includes a variety of enhancements to expand the capabilities and benefits of automating common data center tasks while providing interoperability to support diverse IT environments and varying levels of IT maturity. The new capabilities help simplify software installation and improve distribution, monitor IT resources across an enterprise, and create reusable automation packages to perform complex tasks that can be used again later.

Specifically, TPM automates the discovery, deployment, configuration, and management of operating systems, patches, middleware, and applications on physical and virtual servers. It can manage virtualization technologies, SAN- and NAS-based storage resources, and network devices acting as routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers. TPM also allows a company to automate its own datacenter procedures and processes either by modifying automation packages or creating new packages that match a company's best practices.

TPM lowers the cost of managing infrastructure resources by automating tasks to execute change in the enterprise. Provisioning, maintaining and re-purposing IT resources is made easier, while systems are made more secure and stable through software and security configuration compliance and remediation, freeing up resources to focus on business issues and innovation.

Specific new enhancements include:

  • Web Replay
  • Cross-Platform Patch Support
  • TADDM Integration
  • Dynamic Content Delivery
  • Streamlined Installation

"Tivoli Provisioning Manager is an excellent tool for helping developers become more efficient," said Mike Todd, Chief Technology Officer and founder of Northwind Consulting. "One of our customers recently ran a pilot optimizing the usage of 600 servers in a development test environment. They have 40 people building images and it normally takes 3-4 weeks from the time a request is processed to when a developer has a system completely built out and ready to go. We showed them how they can do the same thing in less than a day using Tivoli Provisioning Manager. The current project has a three-month ROI and will result in tremendous savings, in addition to drastically reduced lead time, and improved quality."

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SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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