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Tivoli Tries To Ease Storage Management

A new suite offers features designed to automate and simplify the management process.

Though it never tried to cobble together a bunch of disparate products and always built software modules from the same code base, IBM's Tivoli division still has a lot of shelfware among its customer base. Over the years, new functionality has meant increased complexity, years until deployment, and even software that's never done anything.

Tivoli will try to fix those problems for storage management this week with a software suite that includes features meant to automate and simplify the management process. First, all Tivoli storage-management products, including TSM for backup and recovery and TSRM for storage-resource management, will be loaded with Tivoli's Enterprise Data Warehouse, actually a common repository of objects that customers can use to easily deploy and upgrade the storage products and integrate them with Tivoli's systems-management products. Second, along the same lines, the Tivoli Event Management & Correlation console will include access to storage resources for the first time.

Tivoli customers that use TSM and TSRM won't have to touch a key after they set policies for provisioning capacity and extending file systems from IBM's Enterprise Storage System. IBM says it will support other storage systems, including systems from EMC Corp. and Hitachi Data Systems, before the year is out. WebSphere 5.0 customers will be able to process complete data backups while the service remains up and running. TSM will be able to do the same thing with SAP R/3, Microsoft Exchange, and multiple Unix servers that customers would like to back up to a Z Linux Server mainframe system for consolidation and enhanced security.

Clipper Group analyst Anne MacFarland says Tivoli is following IBM's orders to modularize all software so it's easier for customers to stay with IBM if they have combinations of the storage software, DB2, and MQ Series, for example. Until this release, Tivoli had a different database from WebSphere's. "It's all mundane but exciting to a systems or storage administrator," MacFarland says. "Without such congruence, they can't get there from here."

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