Tivoli Rolls Out New Product-Management Suite - InformationWeek

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Tivoli Rolls Out New Product-Management Suite

Tivoli Systems Inc. unveiled a new version of its Tivoli Enterprise management product, which boasts a more scalable three-tier architecture and lightweight agents that the company says will automate any changes to the desktop.

The new version of the management suite, formerly code-named Tsunami, inserts an extra layer of servers--called gateways--between the desktop and the server to manage individual nodes. Tivoli says the new architecture will let Tivoli deployments scale to thousands of nodes; by having the gateways pass updates to the nodes, the server is left free to perform transaction processing and other tasks. "It reduces the amount of network traffic," says Lyle Marushak, supervisor for server implementation and second-level support for Ford Motor Co., which is embarking on what will likely be a 10,000-user deployment. The company had looked at the previous version of Tivoli's product, but decided that if it waited for this version it would be able to lower its hardware investments by $3 million to $4 million.

The Tivoli Management Agents, developed from Tivoli research and IBM artificial intelligence work, are able to be deployed on a wide variety of devices because they occupy only 350 Kbytes of space, a much smaller footprint than previous desktop software. And once they're in place, Tivoli says, the IT organization never has to visit those desktops again. That's a big deal in large companies. "If you have a 100,000 nodes, even a second at each one is too much," says Todd Praisner, director of framework development, who spearheaded the new release. "Once a desktop is managed [with the agents], nothing short of hardware failure is going to make you have to go back to it."

The "one-touch" approach of the agents lets IT organizations automatically update desktops with new management capabilities, conduct inventory, and distribute software without physically going out to desks. In Ford's case, it will make it possible for it to update all of the company's CAD software over a weekend. "We're trying to keep first-level support people from getting buried," Marushak says. Spartan Stores, a convenience store chain, says it will free up a crew of 25 employees that were constantly engaged in making desktop upgrades.

Tivoli also unveiled Tivoli Service Desk for SAP R/3, which will give users service-level management capabilities for their SAP applications. The help desk module is one of the first examples of what Tivoli chairman and CEO Jan Lindelow says will be a more modular approach that targets customers' specific applications and vertical markets. "After today, no one will be wondering if frameworks or point solutions are the way to go. These new products will make this question moot," he says. Targeted applications will give customers the specific functionality they need and still let them tie into Tivoli's framework for broader capabilities.

The SAP product will be followed in the next six months by other management products that capitalize on the huge growth in the enterprise applications market, targeting other major application vendors such as PeopleSoft and Baan. Lindelow says the company will have 20 such application management products by year's end. The company will also focus on specific vertical markets such as telecommunications, financial services, and retail.

Lindelow says the company, an IBM unit, is growing at a tremendous rate, with more than $1 billion in revenue. Lindelow says the company plans to help grow the management market at double the rate of the software industry overall, and it plans to grow ahead of the management market pace.

All Tivoli Enterprise products, which include enhanced versions of Software Distribution, User Administration, Inventory, Distributed Monitoring, Enterprise Console, Security Management, and Remote Control, are available immediately.

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