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8/26/2011
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IBM Connects Tivoli To Hybrid Cloud

How can legacy systems tap into hybrid cloud services? New plug-ins extend the reach of IBM's Tivoli systems management software.

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IBM is extending the reach of its tried and true Tivoli systems management product into the hybrid cloud. By creating Tivoli plug-ins from its Cast Iron acquisition, legacy systems can make use of cloud services through Tivoli's added integration capabilities.

IBM's announcement Aug. 25 termed it a "new hybrid cloud solution." It might be more aptly termed a "new to Tivoli hybrid cloud solution." Existing systems management vendors have struggled to bring products oriented toward physical systems into the world's virtual machine-based cloud, an opening that VMware has sought to expand into with its growing list of virtual systems management products. CA Technologies has responded the most aggressively, with its acquisitions of Nimsoft, NetQoS, 3Tera, Oblicore, Cassatt, and Hyperformix.

IBM likewise brought cloud service integration and management capabilities in-house when it acquired Cast Iron Systems in May 2010 at an undisclosed price. Cast Iron was an appliance maker that had preconfigured connections to many enterprise applications, including SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Lawson, Microsoft, and various middleware systems. IBM has now attached these integration capabilities to Tivoli, said Scott Hebner, VP of marketing for Tivoli.

"Cast Iron allows our existing Tivoli clients to take a pre-configured approach to using cloud services (with enterprise applications and legacy systems), rather having to do it with custom code," Hebner said. By being able to link to applications running in Amazon Web Services EC2 or IBM Smart Cloud, Tivoli customers can make use of a hybrid architecture. They can keep legacy systems handling transactions or customer data in-house, but bring in new services rather than adding them as enterprise software projects, he said.

In particular, Tivoli Service Automation Manager and Tivoli Monitoring are enabled by the Cast Iron additions, said Hebner. Users of Tivoli monitoring will be able to see not only their on-premises workloads, but also the workloads they have sent out to the cloud or services they're extracting from a cloud.

Tivoli users are used to defining policies, quotas, and limits for workloads on premises; they'll be able to do the same for workloads sent to the public cloud. Users will get a service catalogue that applies equally to on-premises and previously invoked cloud resources, with the IT staff keeping an eye on the services utilized and their cost.

The Cast Iron additions also allow Tivoli to move a workload from the premises into the cloud through a provisioning manager, while continuing to monitor its operation, Hebner said. Existing users of Tivoli Monitoring and Tivoli Service Automation Manager will get the added capabilities, starting in the fourth quarter, with their next Tivoli update.

For new customers, IBM Tivoli Monitoring is priced at $662 per core. Tivoli Service Automation Manager is priced at $618 per RVU or the equivalent of a core operating at low volumes of data.

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